EL SEGUNDO – The South Bay Lakers tallied their third consecutive home victory as they beat the Grand Rapids Drive, 129-122, on Wednesday night. Gary Payton II showcased his all-around game for the Lakers (5-4) with a game-high 24 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists, six steals and one block. Jordan Bone tallied a 21-point, 13-assist double-double for the Drive (8-5) in the loss.
It was a battle of the point guards in the first period, with David Stockton scoring 10 for the home team and Bone leading his team to a 27-23 lead with eight early points. The Drive started to pull away in the second quarter, gaining a 66-55 advantage at the half. Marcus Allen handled the brunt of the scoring in the second quarter with 10 points in the period while Craig Sword scored 10 of his own for Grand Rapids.
The Lakers surged ahead in the third, outscoring their opponent by 20, to take a 93-84 lead going into the fourth. Payton II and Zach Norvell Jr. each scored 12 points in the third and the Lakers held Grand Rapids to an opponent season-low 19.2 percent from the field. South Bay put it away in the fourth quarter behind a combined 16 points from Devontae Cacok and Talen Horton-Tucker as they improved to 3-0 in the first leg of a back-to-back.
Bone’s double-double paced the Drive and Pe’Shon Howard led the team in scoring with 23 points. Sword finished the night with 21 points as Donta Hall (10 points, 14 rebounds) and Todd Withers (13 points, 10 rebounds) each recorded a double-double. Khalil Iverson also reached double figures for the Drive with 16 points off the bench.
Another dominant night from Payton II helped the Lakers overcome a 15-point deficit to grab the win as the team recorded season highs in steals (16) and blocks (8). Cacok tallied his seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 12 rebounds and Norvell Jr. finished the night with 22 points (5-8 3FG), seven rebounds, three assists and two steals. Allen scored 15 points in his third start of the year and Stockton finished with 10 points. Kostas Antetokounmpo put up 11 points, seven rebounds, one assist, one steal and a season-high five blocks and Reggie Hearn finished with 10 points and a game-high +17 in the win.
South Bay returns to the floor tomorrow night when they visit the Salt Lake City Stars at 6:00pm from the Lifetime Activities Center-Bruin Arena in Salt Lake City, UT.