CEDAR PARK, Texas — The South Bay Lakers picked up their first wire-to-wire win of the year as they beat the Austin Spurs, 113-96, for the second time this season. South Bay (5-1) led by as many as 25 and were paced by Alex Caruso who tallied 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and a career-high seven steals. Austin (5-3) was led by Jaron Blossomgame who grabbed a double-double (18 points, 10 rebounds), but could not overcome the all-around production of the Lakers.
South Bay scored a season-high 66 points in the paint and grabbed a season-high 51 rebounds as they controlled the battle in the paint. South Bay (45-90) improved to 3-0 when they shoot at least 50% from the field.
The Lakers were led by their starters in the first quarter, as they scored all but two of the team’s points, to put South Bay up 31-26 after one. V.J. Beachem, starting in place of Travis Wear who is practicing with Team USA, scored nine while Olivier Hanlan of Austin scored 12 in the first to lead all scorers. At the half, the Lakers led 59-51, behind 13 points and six rebounds from Ivica Zubac and 12 points from Josh Hart.
South Bay extended their lead to as many as 16 in the third quarter, before the Spurs fought back to tie it at 78. A three pointer by Robert Heyer at the end of the quarter gave the Lakers an 81-78 lead going into the fourth. South Bay blitzed out of the fourth quarter on a 19-4 run and never looked back. The Lakers outscored the Spurs 32-18 in the final quarter to secure their fifth win of the season.
Blossomgame’s double-double led the way for Austin, while Hanlan (17 points), Nick Johnson (15 points) and Jeff Ledbetter (14 points) also reached double digits for the Spurs. Amida Brimah made an impact off the bench with five points, eight rebounds and four blocks. The Spurs struggled from beyond the arc (6-26, .231) as they could not overcome South Bay’s big lead.
Caruso stuffed the box score to lead South Bay while Zubac picked up a double-double (19 points, 11 rebounds) and Hart and Stephaun Branch scored 17 points apiece. Also in double digits for the Lakers was Scott Machado, who tallied 13 points and five assists off the bench.