D-Fenders - Bighorns Recap - 2/13/13

GAME RECAP

TURNING POINT

Los Angeles led comfortably at halftime 60-40, but Reno cut the lead to single digits at 68-59 with 4:06 remaining in the third quarter. The D-Fenders would proceed to end the quarter on a 17-6 run thanks to five triples (three from Courtney Fortson and one apiece from Elijah Millsap and Lazar Hayward) to push the lead back to 20 points at 85-65 heading into the final frame. “I thought Courtney (Fortson), (Elijah) Millsap and those guys knocking those shots really broke the game open for us,” D-Fenders coach Reggie Theus said. “When you’re up by 20, you have to assume a team is going to make a run at some point. You just have to weather that run and that’s what we did.”

Courtney Fortson
Courtney Fortson scored a game-high 22 points on 9-15 FG, 4-6 3FG to go along with 5 rebounds and 5 assists.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Courtney Fortson. A 2013 NBA D-League All-Star selection, Fortson led L.A. with a team-high 22 points to go along with five rebounds and five assists. He scored 13 of those points in the third, including nine during that key 17-6 run to end the quarter.

UNSUNG HERO

Lazar Hayward. In 28 minutes off the bench, Hayward recorded 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists. During that late run in the third, the Marquette product had a hand in nine of those points – two assists setting up Fortson, as well as one made 3-pointer.

KEY STAT OF THE GAME

Los Angeles held Reno to 39.7 percent shooting from the floor towards 89 points. It was the fifth time in the last six games the D-Fenders had allowed their opponent to score less than 100 points. “We finally did a real good job of letting our defense create the energy and the flow of the game,” Hayward said. “Whenever we have a chance to really start off defensively with high energy, we usually have good games like this.”

PLAYS OF THE GAME

Zach Andrews played a part in all three highlights on the evening, as he finished with 11 points and five rebounds.

  1. Andrews took his defender Samardo Samuels off the dribble and hammered this slam dunk over Marcus Landry.
  2. Fortson found Andrews rolling to the rim on this play in the second quarter and lofted a pass for this alley-oop dunk.
  3. Off a long rebound, Orien Greene led the break and found Andrews sprinting down the sideline for another alley-oop slam.

WHERE THEY STAND

The D-Fenders bounced back from Sunday’s 93-86 loss against the Bighorns to win 115-89. L.A. has now won five of the last seven games, putting its record at 12-17. After the annual D-League All-Star Weekend, the D-Fenders go on the road, playing their next three contests (at Santa Cruz, at Reno, at Bakersfield) in a span of four days.

Recap by Trevor Wong