After playing to a 20-20 stand-off at the end of the first quarter, the Bakersfield Jam (17-7) used an 8-0 run to start the second period and never looked back. They would go on to lead by as many as 18 points in the fourth quarter, on their way to a 102-86 win over the visiting Reno Bighorns (8-12) on Friday night in Bakersfield. It was the Jam’s sixth straight victory on their way to a D-League best record of 17-7, as well as an 8-1 record in the month of January.
That first quarter run by the Jam held up and gave them a 51-43 halftime lead. The winning ingredient for Bakersfield was their 25-8 edge in fast-break points, as they consistently turned Reno turnovers into lay-ups or dunks, as well as a multitude of run-outs on missed shots. The Jam defense held Reno to 41.8% (33-79) shooting, including a measly 10.5% (2-19) from the 3-point line. The Bighorns did not help their cause by shooting 50% (18-36) on free-throws.
The Jam had five players score in double figures and was led by Renaldo Major who scored 20 points, and had four rebounds and three steals off the bench. Jerel McNeal added 17 points with five assists, while Brian Butch posted a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Also off the Jam bench, James Nunnally chipped in with 13 points. Adam Koch finished with 10 points, and Diante Garrett had a game-high 10 assists.
The Bighorns was led by Samardo Samuels, who had 20 points and nine rebounds. Walker Russell scored 19 points and dished out six assists, while Dontell Jefferson came off the Reno bench to score 18 points, and also pulled down seven rebounds.
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