EL SEGUNDO – The South Bay Lakers suffered their second loss of the season as they fell to the Agua Caliente Clippers, 109-99, on Saturday night. South Bay (8-2) was led by Alex Caruso who stuffed the stat sheet with 26 points, six rebounds, eight assists, two steals and a block. The Clippers (7-5) were paced by LaDontae Henton’s 27 points and Tyrone Wallace’s strong night with 20 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.
The Clippers jumped out to a quick lead, 35-22, after the first quarter fueled by 12 points from Henton. Andre Dawkins also contributed to the early lead with three triples in the first quarter. Caruso paced South Bay in the second quarter with eight points, but the Clippers held a 61-49 lead after the first half.
The Lakers got back in the game in the third quarter as they dwindled the deficit down to as few as eight, behind nine points from Caruso, but the Clippers still held the 83-69 edge through three. The Lakers continued to fight in the fourth, as Scott Machado pitched in 16 points in the final frame, but consistent scoring from Wallace and Vitto Brown ensured that the Clippers would hold on for the win.
Agua Caliente’s starting lineup contributed 84 of the team’s 109 points and was led by a trio of 20-point scorers in Henton (27), Dawkins (20) and Wallace (20). J.J. O’Brien also scored in double-digits with 15 points, while Brown added 17 to lead the way for the reserves.
Caruso’s 26 led the Lakers while Machado (18 points, six assists) and Ivica Zubac (18 points, nine rebounds) also scored in double figures for South Bay. Travis Wear (nine points, nine rebounds) had a solid return to the team after spending a few weeks with Team USA, and Stephaun Branch continued to be a spark off the bench with eight points and a team-high +/- of 9.