Fourth Quarter Comeback Lifts Agua Caliente Over South Bay

By Christopher McGean | March 29, 2022

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Coming off a spirited home victory last night at the UCLA Health Training Center, the South Bay Lakers (19-11), the G League affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers, fell in the final seconds to the Agua Caliente Clippers (20-11), 109-106, on Monday in El Segundo.

After an offensive frenzy on Sunday between South Bay and Agua Caliente, defense took over tonight’s rematch. The Lakers limited the away team to just 21 points in the first quarter, and Mason Jones scored 12 of the team’s 24 first-quarter points to help South Bay hold a three-point advantage after 12 minutes, 24-21.

The bench units battled in the second quarter with Tremont Waters posting nine points (4-5 FG) for South Bay, while Nate Darling countered with 13 points (5-7 FG) for Agua Caliente. The Lakers limited the Clippers to just 34% field-goal shooting in the quarter and carried a four-point lead heading into the break, 49-45.

South Bay’s quick ball movement and efficient shooting took over the third quarter as the home team extended their lead to double-digits just minutes into the frame. After briefly exiting the game in the first half due to an ankle injury, Jay Huff came back re-energized. The seven-footer scored 10 points in the third quarter to help give South Bay a strong lead with 12 minutes left to play, 88-73.

Facing a steep deficit, Agua Caliente was aggressive on both sides of the ball to mount their comeback. The Clippers forced seven turnovers and shot over 66% from the field in the final quarter to help give themselves a three-point lead with seconds left in regulation. A Tremont Waters three-pointer just missed at the buzzer, and Agua Caliente completed the comeback victory, 109-106.

Waters led South Bay off the bench tonight with 23 points, seven assists and three steals, which were all team-highs. Big man Jay Huff posted 21 points to lead the starting unit, and Lakers two-way guard Mason Jones contributed with 16 points and nine rebounds. Jemerrio Jones was an anchor in the paint for South Bay, collecting a team-high eleven rebounds and blocking a team-high three shots. Despite the loss, South Bay took the regular season series over Agua Caliente, 3-1.

Nate Darling led Agua Caliente’s rally and dropped a career-high 32 points off the bench, while Trevon Scott (11 points, 12 rebounds), Chris Walker (12 points, eight rebounds), Xavier Moon (15 points, nine assists) and Emmitt Williams (15 points, eight rebounds) all contributed to the victory.

South Bay will continue their seven-game home stretch on Thursday night as they host the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the G League affiliate of the Miami Heat, at 7:00 P.M. PT at the UCLA Health Training Center.