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D-Fenders Top Toros in Showcase Showdown

Los Angeles 97, Austin 88

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 17 -- The Los Angeles D-Fenders took the lead early and never looked back in a 97-88 win in their first match up of the season against the Austin Toros. The game was the second for both at the D-League Showcase presented by adidas. The Toros went 1-1, the D-Fenders 2-0 at the Showcase.

The D-Fenders took an early lead in the first quarter led by Devin Green with eight points. The Toros got into foul trouble and Spurs assignee Ian Mahinmi went to the bench with two fouls midway through the first quarter. A Keith Langford 3-pointer gave Austin a brief one-point lead, but Green answered with a running hook shot to put the D-Fenders back on top.

The D-Fenders led by as many as 14 in the second quarter. The Toros fought back and came within five, but 67 percent shooting for the D-Fenders helped them finish the first half with a 10-point lead.

LA continued to widen the gap in the third as Sean Banks and Wendell White combined for 18 of the D-Fenders 24 points scored. Turnovers and fouls plagued the quarter for the Toros.

"We beat a very good team, and fortunately we had a really good first half,” said D-Fenders head coach Dan Panaggio. “I give credit to Austin, they didn't give and they kept the pressure on us and made us fight for it down the stretch."

Sean Banks led the D-Fenders with 21 points and five rebounds, while Devin Green and Wendell White both chipped in 16. Cecil Brown finished with 14.

Keith Langford was the high scorer for Austin with 24 points to go along with five rebounds. Justin Reed scored 15 off the bench and Cheyne Gadson added 12 points and eight rebounds. Ian Mahinmi contributed 10 and eight.

“I thought we came out and for a number of reasons, we got behind early and we dug ourselves a hole that we couldn’t come out of,” said Toros head coach Quin Snyder.

Snyder added, “They played very well early and throughout the game. There were a couple of possessions late in the game where we cut it to four and we had a jump ball situation, where it could have been our ball when we were down four, but we missed the tip. There was a lot of pressure on individual situations like that because we were behind.”

Both teams play on Sunday, the Toros head to Iowa and the D-Fenders will face the Mad Ants at Fort Wayne.