SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — The Salt Lake City Stars (1-3) were defeated by the Santa Cruz Warriors (2-4) 111-116 on Friday night at Vivint Arena.
The Warriors used a balanced scoring attack to outduel the Stars with five players scoring in double figures. Axel Toupane led the Warriors with 24 points and 10 rebounds while Jeff Dowtin Jr., Quinndary Weatherspoon, and Eddie Stansberryadded 22, 19, and 19 points, respectively. Jordan Bell posted a double-double scoring 12 points to go with 12 rebounds.
The Stars were paced by Malik Fitts’ game-high 27 points and Jared Butler, who added 26 points. Udoka Azubuike tallied his second double-double of the season with 10 points and a career-high 17 rebounds.
Both teams came out shooting the ball at a high level with the Stars shooting 48.1 percent from the floor and the Warriors making 50 percent of their shots in the first quarter.
The Warriors were able to continue their hot shooting in the second quarter while the Stars struggled from the field and found themselves trailing 61-43 at the break.
The Stars used a late third quarter rally to cut the lead to nine, but the Warriors answered with back-to-back three-point makes to stretch the lead back to 15 with 1:22 left in the frame. The Warriors led 94-74 heading into the fourth.
The Salt Lake City outscored Santa Cruz 30-14 in the fourth quarter cutting the lead to one with 1:37 left but were unable to overtake the Warriors.
The Stars will host the Stockton Kings on Tuesday, Nov. 23 at Bruins Arena at Salt Lake City Community College in Taylorsville. Three days later, the Stars and Kings will meet again on Friday, Nov. 26, also at Bruins Arena.
Friday night’s victory marked the end of a four-game road trip for the Warriors in which they went 2-2. The team will enjoy a week off before hosting the G League Ignite on Friday, Nov. 26 at Kaiser Permanente Area in Santa Cruz, Calif.