LAS VEGAS, NV – The South Bay Lakers lost their opening game of the MGM Resorts Winter Showcase, as they fell to the Lakeland Magic, 119-103, on Thursday afternoon. Gary Payton II recorded his 13th double-double of the season for South Bay (8-8) with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Amile Jefferson led the Magic (9-7) with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
South Bay finished the first quarter with a 32-27 lead behind 10 points from Travis Wear and seven from Las Vegas native Marcus Allen. The Magic took a 60-59 lead into the break, despite 13 second-quarter points from Payton II. Jefferson finished the first half with a 12-point, 10-rebound double-double for Lakeland.
The Magic pulled away in the third quarter behind nine points from BJ Johnson, to take a 93-82 lead into the final period. Talen Horton-Tucker scored 11 points in the fourth, but the Lakers could not erase the Magic’s lead.
Jefferson and Josh Magette (13 points, 11 assists) and Vic Law (14 points, 11 rebounds) all tallied a double-double for Lakeland. Johnson led the team in scoring with a game-high 29 points and Jon Davis led the second unit with 11 points. Melvin Frazier Jr. also scored in double figures with 16 points.
Payton II continued his strong play with 21 points, 11 rebounds, six assists, three steals and one block while Horton-Tucker also stuffed the stat sheet with 24 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, one steal and a block. Allen finished the night with 15 points, while Wear (14 points) and Reggie Hearn (10 points) also tallied double digits for South Bay. Jordan Caroline came off the bench with eight points and 10 rebounds.
South Bay now faces the Texas Legends on Saturday, December 21 at 12:00pm from the Mandalay Bay Convention Center for their final game of the MGM Resorts Winter Showcase.