PRESCOTT VALLEY, AZ – In their lone preseason game of the 2019-20 season, the South Bay Lakers lost a close matchup to the Northern Arizona Suns, 106-101, on Saturday afternoon. The big men paced the Lakers in the warmup as Kostas Antetokounmpo and Devontae Cacok each tallied a double-double. Jared Harper led the Suns with a game-high 31 points.
South Bay got off to a slow start in the opening frame, falling behind by as many as 14 points, but the bench came in and provided energy to get the team back in the game. Cacok scored eight points to get the Lakers within five, 31-26, after one. Harper poured in 14 early points for the Suns. Harper continued to lead the way in the second quarter, scoring 12 more points in the period, to give his team a 55-46 halftime lead.
The Lakers came storming back in the third quarter, as Antetokounmpo and Earnest Ross each scored eight points in the frame. South Bay outscored their opponent by 12 points in the quarter to take an 81-78 lead into the final period. Both teams relied on their reserves in the fourth and the Suns were able to come away with the win behind eight fourth-quarter points from Keljin Blevins.
Harper’s 31 points paced the Suns and Jalen Lecque added 21 points off the bench to give the Suns the victory. Blevins also scored in double figures with 10 points off the bench. Anthony Lawrence II, the number one overall pick in the 2019 NBA G League Draft, went scoreless but finished with five rebounds and two assists.
Antetokounmpo scored a team-high 19 points to go along with 10 rebounds, one assist, two steals and two blocks, while Cacok finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench. Ross scored 18 points and shot an efficient 4-of-7 from beyond the arc as Zach Norvell Jr. and Brandon Moss also finished in double figures with 10 points apiece.
The South Bay Lakers will open the regular season on Saturday, November 9 against the Oklahoma City Blue at 5:00 PT from the UCLA Health Training Center.