The Los Angeles D-Fenders came out victorious over the Santa Cruz Warriors 124-118 at the Toyota Sports Center tonight.
In the first quarter, the D-Fenders (2-4) scored a season-high 45 points and shot 58.1 percent from the field behind guard Manny Harris’ 16-point effort. In addition, they forced the Warriors (6-3) into five turnovers and held them to an opponent’s season-low 18 points. The D-Fenders continued their strong play in the second period and entered the half controlling the Warriors 72-53. At the half, the D-Fenders led Santa Cruz in field goal percentage, three-point field goal percentage, assists, steals and blocked shots.
The D-Fenders watched their lead dwindle in the third frame, as the Warriors scored 16 points in the paint to pull back within eight points entering the fourth. The game ended up coming down to wire and the score was tied 116-116 with 1:03 to play. D-Fenders center Brandon Costner hit what ended up being the game-winning three-point field goal with 51 seconds to go in the game, and the D-Fenders emerged victorious. In total, the fourth quarter featured eight lead changes and three ties.
Manny Harris, in his D-Fenders debut, led the effort tonight with 41 points and five steals. Furthermore, the other four starters, Kareem Rush (16 points), Jamario Moon (15 points, eight rebounds, eight assists), Josh Magette (11 points) and Brandon Costner (10 points) all finished in double-digits also. Andre Ingram provided a spark off of the bench pitching in 12 points as well.
The Warriors were paced by Cameron Jones (23 points), Daniel Nwaelele (23 points) and Seth Curry (22 points). Kevin Kotzur (19 points, 15 rebounds) and Dewayne Dedmon (11 points, 17 rebounds) finished with double-doubles to round it out for Santa Cruz.
Overall, Manny Harris, Jamario Moon, Kareem Rush and Andre Ingram all bested their season scoring averages in the effort. The D-Fenders also matched a season-high 30 assists on their 42 made field goals and matched a season-high 10 blocked shots on the night. Additionally, the D-Fenders outscored the Warriors 29-8 in fast break points.