D-FENDERS CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH
EL SEGUNDO, CA – The Los Angeles D-Fenders became the first NBA Development League team to secure a playoff berth this season after dropping the Idaho Stampede 106-105 on Saturday night. The D-Fenders will be returning to the playoffs for the first time since the 2007-08 season when they won a franchise-record 32 games.
Despite jumping out to a four-point lead at the end of the first quarter, Los Angeles (31-11) was outscored by a combined 13 points in the second and third quarters, and trailed by as many as 11 points early in the fourth quarter. However, the D-Fenders managed to force nine of Idaho’s 20 turnovers as well as contain them to 40 percent shooting in the final frame to spark a comeback.
On the offensive end, Elijah Millsap (22 points [4-8 3FG], 3 steals) carried the load and scored 16 points (4-5 3FG) in the fourth quarter, and Malcolm Thomas (19 points, 15 rebounds, 5 assists) tipped-in a shot with 8.4 seconds remaining in the game to help secure the victory.
The D-Fenders’ Jamario Moon finished with 20 points, six rebounds, six assists and three steals, Mardy Collins tallied 14 points along with seven assists, and Kareem Rush scored 10 points in front of the Toyota Sports Center crowd.
Meanwhile, Marcus Banks (25 points, 6 assists, 3 steals) led all scorers on the evening off the bench for Idaho (17-27). Additionally, Tony Bobbitt recorded 22 points, Jordan Brady scored 19 points to go with three steals, and Antoine Walker dropped in 11 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists off the bench for the Stampede.
With the victory, Los Angeles claimed the season series versus Idaho five games to three.
For the first time ever, the D-Fenders are offering season ticket packages for the 2011-12 season that include special Lakers ticket purchase opportunities as well as various other incentives. Walk-up day of game general admission and courtside tickets are also still available for most home games. Ticket information is available on the team’s website (www.d-fenders.com) or by contacting Nima Behboodi at (310) 426-6043 / firstname.lastname@example.org.