The Los Angeles D-Fenders played their second game of the three-game NBA D-League Quarterfinals against the Santa Cruz Warriors on Saturday night. After a tough loss on Thursday night in Santa Cruz, the D-Fenders were looking to extend their playoff hopes in Saturday’s game. Game 2 of the quarterfinals played very similarly to Game 1 with the D-Fenders starting extremely strong and withering away as the game continued. Santa Cruz defeated Los Angeles 138-126 knocking the D-Fenders out of the playoffs and ending their season.
The two teams were neck and neck for the first eight minutes of the quarter, but the D-Fenders began to break away from the lead changes after Josh Magette hit a big three which began to shift the momentum. Following Magette’s three-pointer, Los Angeles went on a 15-6 run toward the second half of the quarter to assert their lead over the Warriors. Although the Warriors were able to make a slight comeback, the D-Fenders finished the quarter winning 33-24. Brandon Costner was a big contributor during the first with 15 points. The D-Fenders were also a defensively strong forcing eight turnovers over the first 12 minutes.
The Warriors seemed off to a better start in the second after Seth Curry drained a three pointer to begin the quarter, but the D-Fenders were able to maintain their stronghold for the majority of the second frame. After a big dunk by Lance Goulbourne, Santa Cruz began to condense the D-Fenders lead and were down by as few as three points with just five minutes remaining the quarter. The Warriors especially picked their play up in the final minutes of play going on a 14-2 run to give them a six-point lead going into halftime. The D-Fenders slowed things down offensively shooting 29.6 percent from the field in the second quarter as opposed to their 52.0 percent in the first quarter.
The Warriors continued their momentum into the second half as the game began to intensify. At one point, Santa Cruz had a ten-point edge over the D-Fenders. Although Los Angeles were able to put themselves in positions to score shooting 48.1 percent from the field, the squad was outplayed by the Warriors throughout the majority of the quarter with Santa Cruz shooting an impressive 66.7 percent from the field. The Warriors had 16-point advantage over the D-Fenders heading into the fourth quarter.
Santa Cruz remained dominant as the D-Fenders were unable to close in on the Warriors lead. The Warriors continued to outplay the D-Fenders, and they lead by 12 or more throughout the entire quarter. Brandon Costner was the game’s leading scorer with 38 points, and Cameron Jones was the top performer for the Warriors with 33 points in their big playoff 138-126 win against the D-Fenders.
Lakers’ Kobe Bryant Meets With Jim Buss, ‘Goal Is To Win And Win Now’