The Los Angeles D-Fenders (25-16) defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors (15-26) 114-110 on Saturday at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
The D-Fenders saw six players score in double-figures, paced by Vander Blue who posted a game-high 24 points. Josh Magette added 23 points and 5 assists, while Jeff Ayres recorded 17 points and a game-high 16 rebounds.
Luis Montero, playing on assignment from the Portland Trail Blazers, and Darington Hobson paced the Warriors with 20 points apiece. Hobson would add 10 rebounds to record a double-double. Aaron Craft recorded 18 points and 7 assists on 8-of-9 shooting. Golden State assignee Kevon Looney posted 14 points and 6 rebounds.
Los Angeles would open the game on a 10-2 run to take an early advantage. Santa Cruz would come back on a 16-8 run to tie the game at 18 points with 5:44 to play in the first quarter. The D-Fenders would control the scoreboard for the remainder of the first quarter, ending the high-scoring frame with a 37-32 lead.
Santa Cruz would slowly chip away at the Los Angeles lead throughout the second quarter and trail 62-60 with 5.5 seconds left to play. Aaron Craft would take the ball the length of the court off the inbound pass and make the buzzer-beating layup to enter the locker room tied with the D-Fenders at 62 points apiece.
Both teams remained close coming out of the halftime break until Los Angeles pulled away to hold the 82-76 advantage with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter. Santa Cruz would continue fighting and tie the score at 85-85 with 27.3 seconds to play in the third quarter. Los Angeles closed the quarter on a Jabari Brown layup to enter the final frame leading 87-85.
Santa Cruz would keep the score close in the fourth quarter until Los Angeles capitalized on an 11-2 run to take a 101-92 with 5:40 to play in the game. The D-Fenders would keep pace and hold a 113-103 advantage with exactly one minute remaining.
The Warriors would go on a 7-0 run in the final minute of the game behind four points from Aaron Craft to trail the D-Fenders 113-110 with 9.9 seconds to play. Los Angeles would never relinquish the lead in the final seconds of the game to earn a 114-110 victory over the Warriors.