So the Los Angeles Lakers didn’t exactly have a good Wednesday night against the Orlando Magic.
Back in El Segundo, though, the G-League Lakers had a much much better outing.
After a close loss to the Oklahoma City Blue, the Thunder’s G-League affiliate, the South Bay Lakers roared back with possibly their best game of the season against the Northern Arizona Suns (Phoenix’s G-League affiliate). They scored 133 points compared to the Suns’ 108. And really, the game was never in doubt from the start.
Everything seemed to go right for the South Bay Lakers. They made their first six shots and went on to make 13 of their first 14 field goals. The SB Lakers led, 43-22, after the first quarter. They ended up shooting 75 percent in that period (18/24 FG). The Northern Arizona Suns were never able to cut the deficit down to single digits.
The SB Lakers would lead as many as 39 points. They couldn’t stop Ivica Zubac (26 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks). He’s just too good for the G-League but he does have to get his reps somewhere. Ex-UCLA Bruin Travis Wear was a monster on the boards to go along with his potent scoring (24 points, 17 rebounds). Starting shooting guard and ex-Texas Longhorn DeMarcus Holland was steady with 19 points and 9 rebounds. And Gary Payton II was very good off the bench again with 12 points, 4 rebounds, 7 assists, and 3 steals. Former LSU Tiger Josh Gray led the Suns with 25 points.
South Bay also had season highs in rebounds and assists. They had 58 rebounds against the Suns’ 44. And ball movement was immaculate for the SB Lakers; they had 36 dimes in their wire-to-wire win.
DeMarcus Holland stopped by after the game and I asked him about what they learned from their last loss. He said that they needed to forget about their last loss and come back with aggression, connectivity, and to have fun. It definitely showed early and throughout the game as, I mentioned earlier, they made their first 13 of 14 field goals. Holland liked the energy early and he felt that confidence from everyone.
Everything went well for the SB Lakers and Holland pointed out that their defense was really the key to their blowout victory. I asked him if it was their best game of the season and he said that it felt like it. But he also stopped short and said that “it was one of the great ones.” He understands that it’s a long season and that they have to keep building on each win.
The South Bay Lakers have won five of their last seven games and bring their record to 19-12. They continue to lead the Pacific Division and stay second in the Western Conference. The Northern Arizona Suns drop to 13-18.
The game will be showed live in, well, a couple of hours! You can watch them dominate the North AZ Suns on tape delay on Spectrum SportsNet at 2 PM Pacific.
*We’d like to thank Noah Camarena, the media relations coordinator of the South Bay Lakers, for giving us this opportunity to cover the team.