EL SEGUNDO – In his first game as a South Bay Laker, Gary Payton II grabbed a triple-double off the bench, as one of eight Lakers who scored in double figures, to give South Bay a 129-116 win over the visiting Windy City Bulls. Payton II’s triple-double was the first of the season for South Bay (18-11) and the first of his career. Windy City (13-16) was paced by the league’s leading scorer Antonio Blakeney who poured in 42 points.
Los Angeles Lakers assignee Ivica Zubac imposed his will in the first quarter with 11 points to help give the Lakers a 39-19 lead after one. South Bay gained their big lead thanks to a 16-0 run that was capped by a dunk from Payton II and back-to-back threes from Andre Ingram. Windy City fought back in the second quarter as Blakeney and Jaylen Johnson combined for 21 points in the period, but South Bay maintained a 62-54 lead at the half.
The Lakers held a 100-85 lead through three, despite 12 points in the quarter from Brandon Wood for the Bulls, as every Laker that saw the floor scored. Payton II led the way in the fourth quarter with five points, six rebounds and six assists as South Bay secured the win.
Blakeney’s big night (42 points, eight rebounds, three steals) led Windy City while Wood finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and three assists himself. Johnson (16 points, five rebounds, five assists) and Mychal Mulder (14 points, four rebounds, five assists) also finished in double figures for the Bulls.
Payton II’s triple-double (14 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists) and Zubac’s all-around performance (25 points, eight rebounds, five blocks) led the Lakers to the win. V.J. Beachem (19 points, 5-8 from three-point range), Demarcus Holland (12 points, seven rebounds, two steals) and Scott Machado (12 points, eight assists) reached double figures as Thomas Bryant rounded out the starting lineup with nine points and a career-high six assists. Ingram (14 points, 4-6 from deep), Travis Wear (13 points, four rebounds, four assists) and Stephaun Branch (11 points, seven rebounds) provided valuable contributions off the bench.