EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – In a matchup between two of the top teams in the NBA G League’s Western Conference, the South Bay Lakers (19-10), the G League affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers, edged out the Agua Caliente Clippers (19-11), 126-120, on Sunday at the UCLA Health Training Center.
With heavy playoff implications on the line, both teams came out ready to battle. South Bay attacked the basket early, scoring 20 of their 31 first-quarter points in the paint, and the home team held a one-point advantage after 12 minutes, 31-30.
Lakers two-way guard Mason Jones, coming off a 30-point, 7-steal performance Friday night, powered South Bay’s offense in the first half with 18 points (7-10 FG). The Clippers saw production from their two-way guard as well as Xavier Moon posted 12 points and three steals in the first two quarters to help give Agua Caliente a narrow halftime lead, 64-61.
South Bay continued to shoot the ball well after the break, tallying 39 points in the third quarter behind 12 points (4-5 FG) from Paris Bass off the bench. The Lakers complemented their efficient offense with lock down defense and held Agua Caliente to just 21 points in the frame. South Bay’s dominant quarter gave them a significant lead with 12 minutes to go, 100-85.
The Clippers did not go down without a fight, trimming South Bay’s lead to four with just under three minutes to play. Agua Caliente’s seven-foot center Shevon Thompson posted 19 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to overcome South Bay’s lethal shooting night. The Lakers, wearing gold throwback jerseys to celebrate Los Angeles D-Fenders Night, secured their second-straight victory at home, 126-120.
Veteran guard Darren Collison, making his first start of the season for South Bay, had a well-rounded performance with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals. Mason Jones finished with 26 points on the night, and Paris Bass led the bench unit with a 23-point, 12-rebound double-double.