Game Recap - D-Fenders vs. Toros - Saturday, March 9, 2013

Game Recap by Trevor Wong | @trevor_wong

TURNING POINT

In a game that featured six lead changes and two ties in the final 12 minutes, the D-Fenders forged ahead for good off a Gary Flowers tip-in off his own missed shot with 38.5 seconds left. L.A. scored the final five points of the contest and forced Austin into a missed shot and turnover during their final two possessions.

Robert Sacre
Robert Sacre, on assignment from the Lakers was the player of the game.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Robert Sacre. On assignment from the Lakers, the 7-foot rookie out of Gonzaga anchored the D-Fenders defense in the middle, finishing with six points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. Austin finished with just 38 paint points, while shooting just 38.9 percent field goals, and Sacre’s defensive presence played a key role in their offensive struggles.

UNSUNG HERO

Lazar Hayward. After a one-game absence, the Marquette product chipped in with 20 points, six boards and two steals off the bench. He had 11 in the second quarter, nine coming during a 16-4 run that erased a 32-25 deficit. Hayward also scored seven more in the deciding fourth to help L.A. stave off Austin.

KEY STAT OF THE GAME

The D-Fenders limited the Toros to 38.9 percent from the floor, including a combined 17 of 52 field goals (32.7 percent) in the second and third quarters combined. In the fourth, L.A. forced six of their 21 turnovers on the night, and postgame, Theus noted he was pleased with the overall defensive effort throughout the 48 minutes.

PLAY OF THE GAME

With the shot clock winding down, Courtney Fortson drove the lane and flipped up a shot, but Sacre was there to clean up the mess with this putback dunk.

WHERE THEY STAND

L.A. captured their fourth victory in the last five games, defeating Austin, 95-91. Their record stands at 17-20, still three-and-a-half games back of the final playoff spot. The D-Fenders host the Toros for the second straight game tonight at 6:30 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. “We just have to have the same intensity and same effort defensively,” Theus said. “We have to expect them to come out and be upset about losing (on Friday). I’ll tell our guys, they’re in our way for us to accomplish our goal (of making the playoffs).”