Game Recap: Brian Butch’s Buzzer Beater Defeats D-Fenders
After a 104-100 loss in Bakersfield on Friday night, the D-Fenders return home where they’ll look to take a 2-1 season series lead against the Jam. With Malcolm Thomas receiving a call-up from the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday, Lakers second round pick Ryan Kelly has stepped up in his absence. In four games, Kelly has averaged 24.0 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists. With homecourt advantage, Los Angeles will look to win their second game of the season.
To start the game, the Los Angeles D-Fenders and Bakersfield Jam both came out with good energy. While the Jam established themselves in the paint, the D-Fenders made five of their six attempts from behind the arc. Both teams would continue to go back and forth. Led by Ryan Kelly’s nine points and Kareem Rush’s eight points, the D-Fenders trailed by two points after one.
While both benches started slowly, the D-Fenders were able to take the lead with strong three-point shooting and defense. Leading by as much as nine points, the D-Fenders were unable to close the quarter and the Jam tied the game with two minutes to go. With a pull-up jumper by Josh Magette, the D-Fenders had a three point lead at halftime.
Both teams started the second half with good energy. While the D-Fenders were able to maintain a five point lead through most of the quarter, the Jam made another run and were able to take a one point lead. However, Los Angeles was able to get easy baskets around the rim to push their lead back to seven points. Unfortunately, the D-Fenders couldn’t close the quarter once again and headed to the final quarter with only a one point lead. Kelly led all scorers with 23 points.
In the fourth quarter, the Jam had all the momentum as they established a seven point lead. After a timeout by head coach Bob MacKinnon, the D-Fenders responded with a run of their own and a runner by Kelly tied the game at 105 with less than three minutes remaining. With less than two minutes, Dennis Schroder hit a big floater and free-throw to give the Jam a three point lead. After a defensive stop, Kelly completed a three-point opportunity of his own to tie the game with less than a minute remaining. With four seconds remaining, Brian Butch was able to get his own rebound and defeat the D-Fenders at the buzzer, 110-108.