The South Bay Lakers won their fifth consecutive home game as they beat the Santa Cruz Warriors, 128-124, on Tuesday night. Gary Payton II scored a season-high 30 points along with 10 assists, seven rebounds, three steals and one block as South Bay improved to 7-5 on the year. Jeremy Pargo finished with 37 points for the Warriors (6-8) in the loss.
The two teams traded the lead six times in the opening frame, with Santa Cruz coming out on top, 33-31, through one. Devontae Cacok kicked things off with nine points in the first quarter. Zach Norvell Jr. scored all 10 of his first-half points in the second quarter to lead South Bay to a 66-56 halftime lead. Payton II ended the first half with 12 points and eight assists.
The Lakers gained a 98-83 advantage through three, despite eight points from Pargo in the period. The Warriors put up a fight in the fourth quarter, behind 18 points from Pargo, but Payton II countered with 12 of his own to help preserve the win for the home team.
Pargo’s big scoring night paced Santa Cruz, while Juan Toscano-Anderson finished with a 15- point, 10 rebound double-double. Andrew Harrison led the second unit with 21 points and Devyn Marble tallied 20 points and six rebounds of his own. Alen Smailagic also finished in double figures with 11 points off the bench.
The seventh double-double of the season for Payton II guided the Lakers to the win and Cacok pitched in a career-high 21 points and 11 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the year. Travis Wear had 19 points, six rebounds and three assists as Norvell Jr. (16 points, six assists), Reggie Hearn (11 points) and Kostas Antetokounmpo (10 points, nine rebounds, two blocks) made sure all five starters finished in double figures. Andre Ingram tallied 10 points off the bench.
South Bay continues their homestand when they host the Northern Arizona Suns on Friday, December 13 at 7:00pm from the UCLA Health Training Center.