EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – In the team’s final regular season contest before playing in the 2022 NBA G League Playoffs, the South Bay Lakers (21-11), the G League affiliate of the Los Angeles Lakers, defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce (14-21), 128-125, on Saturday night at the UCLA Health Training Center.
Fresh off a 20-point performance Thursday night, Nate Pierre-Louis ignited the South Bay offense early on with 11 points (5-6 FG) in the first quarter. The score remained close until a Lakers full-court press with multiple steals and fast break buckets led to a 12-0 South Bay run midway through the second quarter. The Lakers totaled over 70 points in the first half for the second straight game as they took a 12-point lead in the break, 72-60.
A 41-point third quarter by the Skyforce, spearheaded by two-time NBA champion Mario Chalmers with 13 points, helped Sioux Falls cut South Bay’s lead to just two at the end of the third quarter, 102-100. With every possession critical in the fourth quarter, the Lakers looked to their athletic big man Paris Bass to guide them to victory. Bass notched 14 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, and South Bay was able to finish off the regular season with a victory, 128-125.
Defensive menace Nate Pierre-Louis picked off four steals tonight to go with a career-high 21 points, while Mac McClung, back on the court after missing the previous two games due to injury, dropped 24 points in his return. Lakers two-way guard Mason Jones recorded 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, and starting center Jemerrio Jones had a near-double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Despite the loss, the Skyforce had some strong performances with four players scoring 20 or more points. Forward Sam Thompson led the team with 27 points, while Mario Chalmers put up 26 points and nine assists. Starting center Micah Potter recorded a 20-point, 13-rebound double-double, and Martin Krampelj also contributed 20 points.
As the three-seed in the Western Conference, South Bay will host the Santa Cruz Warriors (six-seed) on Tuesday, April 5th at 7:00 P.M. PT in a single-elimination playoff game at the UCLA Health Training Center.