CANTON, OH– The South Bay Lakers snapped their two-game losing streak as they beat the Canton Charge, 114-109 (box score), on Friday night. Ivica Zubac scored a career-high 28 points, while Vander Blue pitched in 20 points and a career-high 14 assists for the Lakers (13-6) who picked up their first win on their current road trip. Marcus Thornton paced the Charge (7-10) with 31 points, while London Perrantes and Ante Zizic picked up double-doubles in the loss.
Canton jumped out to an eight-point lead, 33-25, after the first quarter as Thornton contributed 15 early points for the Charge. Zubac paced the Lakers with eight points and four rebounds in the opening period. Canton extended their lead at the half, 67-50, behind 11-19 shooting from beyond the arc as Thornton reached 25 points by halftime.
South Bay continued to trail after three, 90-79, but Travis Wear and Zubac combined for 15 points in the third to cut into Canton’s lead. The Lakers picked up their defense and shot well in the final period, outscoring Canton 35-19, to grab the victory.
Thornton’s 31 points led the Charge, but South Bay held the sharp-shooter to only six points in the second half. Perrantes nearly grabbed a triple-double (10 points, eight rebounds, 13 assists) and Zizic played well off the bench (23 points, 13 rebounds), but Canton shot only 2-14 from three in the second half as they were unable to hold back the rallying Lakers. JaCorey Williams (16 points, seven rebounds) and Kevin Olekaibe (11 points) also scored in double figures for the Charge.
Career-nights by Blue (20 points, five rebounds, 14 assists) and Zubac (28 points, nine rebounds, two assists, two blocks) guided the Lakers to the win, while Wear also contributed solid numbers (16 points, nine rebounds) for South Bay. V.J. Beachem (15 points) and Stephaun Branch (12 points, five rebounds) led the second unit and Scott Machado pitched in 10 points, four rebounds, seven assists and two steals in his second straight start. Demarcus Holland played key defense down the stretch and tallied six points, five rebounds and four assists.
The South Bay Lakers will finish their longest road trip of the season on Thursday, December 28 when they face the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario from the Citizens Business Bank Arena. The game will air at 7:30 on ESPNU.
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.