SALT LAKE CITY — In their first Salt Lake City home game in 20 months, the Salt Lake City Stars, the NBA G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, rallied for a 104-102 victory over the Santa Cruz Warriors at Bruin Arena on the campus of Salt Lake Community College.
Stars guard Jared Butler hit a floating bank shot in the lane with 0.6 seconds remaining for the winning bucket in his first NBA G League game. Butler finished with a game-high 30 points, including 11 in the final quarter as the Stars rallied from a 16-point game deficit.
With its first win of the season, the Stars improved their record to 1-2 while the Warriors dropped to 1-4.
The Stars had five players in double figures including Butler, Elijah Hughes with 17 points, MaCio Teague with 14, Brendan Bailey with 12 and Malik Fitts with 10. Udoka Azibuike led the Stars with 10 rebounds while Fitts had a team-high seven assists.
Axel Toupane collected a double-double for the Warriors with a team-high 24 points plus 10 rebounds. Jeff Dowtin contributed 17 points followed by Quinndary Weatherspoon with 13 and Elijah Pemberton with 12. Jordan Bell had a game-high 14 rebounds.
Santa Cruz led 28-27 at the end of the first quarter behind 10 points from Toupane while Butler countered for the Stars with nine. The Warriors opened up a 61-50 halftime advantage behind Toupane, Pemberton and Weatherspoon.
The Stars managed to cut the lead to 77-76 on a three-pointer by Carsen Edwards at the 2:07 mark in third quarter, but Santa Cruz maintained control to lead 82-76 at the quarter break.
In the final stanza, a driving layup by Hughes tied the game 100-100 with 1:15 remaining. Bell hammered home a dunk after a Stars turnover for a 102-100 Warriors lead before Butler scored the final four points of the game.