SALT LAKE CITY –– The Salt Lake City Stars, the official NBA G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, defeated the Austin Spurs 91-84, earning the club’s first wire-to-wire victory of the season. The Stars, who have won three-straight games, improved to 11-9 (.550) on the season.
The Stars were led by Utah Jazz two-way player Tyler Cavanaugh, who recorded his second double-double of the season with 18 points and a team-high 11 rebounds in his fifth start of the 2018-19 campaign. Tony Bradley, currently on assignment from the Utah Jazz, tallied eight points and grabbed nine boards in 27 minutes. Utah Jazz two-way player Naz Mitrou-Long finished with 16 points, six rebounds and four assists, while Isaiah Cousins scored a game-high-tying 18 points and dished out a game-high eight assists, leading the team in helpers for the fourth time in the last five games.
Austin (11-9) was paced by Chimezie Metu, currently on assignment from the San Antonio Spurs, who recorded a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. John Holland also scored a team-high-tying 16 points and swiped two steals off the bench. San Antonio Spurs assignment player Lonnie Walker IV finished with eight points and four assists, and San Antonio Spurs two-way player Ben Moore tallied a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds to go with three steals.
The Stars began the game with an Isaiah Cousins three-pointer and retained their advantage throughout, leading by as many as 16 points in the second quarter (37-21). The Spurs trimmed the lead to two points (61-59) with 4:30 remaining in the third period, but the Stars extended their advantage with an 8-2 spurt and ultimately won by seven points.
Salt Lake City connected on 40.9 percent from three-point range compared to Austin’s 33.3 percent shooting from deep. The Stars held the advantage in assists (22-20), rebounds (50-40), points in the paint (48-32) and second chance points (24-14). Austin tallied more steals (13-11) and blocks (9-5).
The Stars will travel to southern California to face the Agua Caliente Clippers of Ontario (LA Clippers affiliate) on New Year’s Day at 4 p.m. (MT), which will be broadcast live on ESPN+. Following the contest against the Clippers, the Stars will return home to Utah to begin a four-game homestand -– the team’s longest of the season –- on Friday, Jan. 4, against the Sioux Falls Skyforce (Miami HEAT affiliate). Tickets, which start at $5, are available at slcstars.com.