The South Bay Lakers played their third game in four nights. They were coming off a loss against the Reno Bighorns on Friday night. On Saturday, they faced the Oklahoma City Blue, who have won their last two games.
With the Los Angeles Lakers calling up Travis Wear for a 10-day contract (along with injuries to other players), the South Bay Lakers only had seven players active. For the Blue, they have Daniel Hamilton, who was a second round pick in 2016 and played for UConn in college. OKC also has former UCLA Bruin Bryce Alford.
The South Bay Lakers got off to a blazing start (like they usually do) and jumped out to a 38-19 lead. OKC didn’t seem to know what a two-pointer was; 11 of their first 15 shots were from behind the three-point arc. The Blue did score the last seven points of the first as the SB Lakers led, 38-26, after 12 minutes.
It continued to be bombs away for the Blue in the second but with little success. Frenchman Yannis Morin for the Blue did score 10 points for them in that quarter while Stephaun Branch countered with 10 points of his own. By that point, the Blue were 9 for 32 from three while the SB Lakers were 13 for 22. The SB Lakers led at the half, 68-59.
The Blue eventually overtook the SB Lakers in the third as they dominated inside the paint. They also did a more decent job behind the arc as they had the home team scrambling on defense. Still, South Bay led after three, 100-98.
A combination of good defense by the Blue and fatigue setting in for the SB Lakers in the fourth quarter did South Bay in. Daniel Hamilton did his thing in the fourth, scoring 11 points. A big three-pointer by the Blue’s Javan Felix from Texas extended OKC’s lead to eight and that pretty much sealed the deal. Oklahoma City Blue would win their third straight game as they defeated the South Bay Lakers, 127-119.
Scott Machado did all he could for the South Bay Lakers as he went for an insane 21-7-18 line. James Southerland also had 21 points while Stephaun Branch and Andre Ingram had 20 points each. All seven players that played for the Lakers reached double figures.
As for the Blue, Bryce Alford made eight three-pointers on his way to 26 points. Daniel Hamilton had that big fourth quarter to finish with 23 while Javan Felix had 19 points.
The Blue dominated in points in the paint, outscoring the SB Lakers, 60-34. The second half was all Blue as they shot 56 percent in the last 24 minutes.
I talked to starting center Michael Holyfield and he noted that the Blue had a lot of drivers so they were going to see a ton of drive-and-kicks in the game. Unfortunately, they got lost on some of the kicking and the Blue ended up shooting 52 threes (only making 16 but the threat was truly real). I asked Holyfield about the fatigue and being undermanned but he didn’t use that as an excuse. Holyfield did note that, even though they lost their second straight game, Coach Coby Karl said that the team played better throughout the course of the week and said that they will be okay.
The South Bay Lakers have a week off and play the Rio Grande Valley Vipers next on the 10th. They are second in the Western Conference with a 26-17 record while the OKC Blue move up to 23-20.
You can catch this game on Spectrum Sportsnet later today at 4:30 PM local time.
*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.