In a fast-paced, high-scoring opening round game of the NBA G League Playoffs, the 3-seed South Bay Lakers defeated the 6-seed Santa Cruz Warriors, 134-123, Tuesday night in El Segundo, CA.
All night long the two teams made the most of the single-elimination matchup and put on a show in front of a packed house at UCLA Health Training Center.
Mason Jones and Chaundee Brown Jr. sparked the offense in the first half with 27 combined points on 10-of-19 from the field (7-of-11 from beyond the arc) and Mac McClung registered all 10 of his total dimes as the Lakers took a nine-point lead into the half.
At the start of second half, things got wild for both teams offensively. After Santa Cruz opened the third frame with a Selom Mawugbe alley oop, South Bay went on a 14-0 run to grab a 21-point lead four minutes into the quarter.
The Warriors immediately responded with a 12-0 run of their own to cut the SBL lead down to nine. McClung would knock down a driving floater to end the run and South Bay would once again flip the game in their favor. With their offensive prowess on full display the Lakers outscored the Warriors 23-15 the rest of the quarter and took a 17-point lead into the final frame.
Santa Cruz did not go quietly into the night and quickly made things interesting right off the bat of the fourth quarter. A pair of Paris Bass free throws increased the Lakers lead to 19 before the Warriors went on a 15-2 run to cut the deficit down to seven.
SBL would find their composure and knock down crucial shots to run away with the 11-point victory.
Six of the 10 South Bay players finished with double-digit points, with the big three of Brown Jr., Jones, and McClung each scoring 20-plus points.
McClung led all scorers with 27 points and added his 10 assists for a double-double in 35 minutes.
Jones was lights out from beyond and hit 50 percent of his three-point attempts to end the night with 24 points on top of eight assists and seven rebounds.
Brown Jr. totaled 21 points (8-13 FG, 5-8 3P) and tacked on eight rebounds in 28 minutes.
Paris Bass had the biggest impact off the bench and earned a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double in 26 minutes.
South Bay will now prepare for a three-game series with the 2-seed Agua Caliente Clippers in the Conference Semifinals starting this Thursday (April 7).