EL SEGUNDO– For the second game in a row, the South Bay Lakers came back from a fourth quarter deficit and grabbed an overtime victory. South Bay (10-2) beat the Sioux Falls Skyforce (6-7) by a final score of 139-135 (box score) on Friday night behind a career-night from two-way guard Alex Caruso, who posted a career-high 41 points, to go along with eight rebounds, a career-high 12 assists and three steals in the come-from-behind win.
South Bay trailed after the first quarter, 37-31, despite 10 points from Travis Wear and eight from V.J. Beachem. Sioux Falls was led in the first by a trio of nine-point scorers in Torrey Craig, Tony Mitchell and Matt Williams Jr. as the team hit seven triples in the first frame alone. In the second, Craig scored in bunches and had 16 points in the quarter, to extend the Skyforce lead to 72-60 at halftime.
South Bay was paced by a combined 26 points from Caruso and Thomas Bryant in the third quarter, but Sioux Falls extended their lead to 103-90. The Lakers continued to battle, and their dynamic duo of Bryant and Caruso combined for 24 more points in the fourth quarter. With 12 seconds remaining, Craig hit a pair of free throws to put the Skyforce up three, but Bryant hit a step-back three pointer just before the buzzer to send the game to overtime.
In the two minute overtime, Caruso scored six more points and South Bay held the Skyforce to only three as they grabbed the victory in front of their home crowd.
Sioux Falls was led by Mitchell (32 points, seven rebounds, 10 assists) and Craig (29 points, 13 rebounds, eight assists) as all five of their starters scored in double digits. Larry Drew II added a double-double with 19 points and 14 assists, while Williams Jr. scored 18 points on 6-11 from beyond the arc.
Caruso’s career-night led the Lakers to their tenth win of the season, while Bryant added 31 points and four rebounds of his own. Wear (13 points, 10 rebounds) and Scott Machado (17 points, 11 assists) added double-doubles, while Stephaun Branch (13 points) and Stephen Zimmerman (11 points) also scored in double figures for South Bay. Andre Ingram added two points to become the G League’s 10th all-time leading scorer with 3,548 points in his nine-year career.
The South Bay Lakers will hit the road for the first end of a back-to-back when they face the Reno Bighorns on Sunday, December 10 at 6:00 from the Reno Events Center.
The NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers, the first franchise in G League history to be owned by an NBA team (Los Angeles Lakers), returns for its 11th season of competition in 2017-18. The Lakers franchise has established itself as a top producer of NBA-ready talent, totaling 26 NBA Call-Ups and developing 19 Lakers assignment players since the inaugural 2006-07 season. Last season, the Lakers returned to the playoffs for the third time in the last four years and produced the league MVP in guard Vander Blue. The Lakers have claimed three division titles and have twice competed in the NBA G League Finals, most recently in 2015-16.