D-Fenders Fall in Final Seconds to Warriors

El SEGUNDO – The Los Angeles D-Fenders fell in the final seconds to the Santa Cruz Warriors, dropping a 101-100 contest at Toyota Sports Center on Saturday night.

Los Angeles (20-27) jumped out to an early 8-2 lead, but was outscored 22-5 by Santa Cruz (32-15) after that point and trailed 24-13 at the end of the first quarter. However, behind Mike Taylor’s (pictured) 15 points in the third quarter, the D-Fenders regained a 46-45 advantage before heading into the locker room at halftime.

Despite eight lead changes coming in the third quarter alone, each team dropped in 28 points and the D-Fenders kept a one-point edge entering the fourth frame. While the Warriors had as large as an 11-point cushion midway through the final quarter, the D-Fenders went on a 16-4 run to recapture a 100-99 lead with 22.8 seconds remaining. Jeremy Tyler would drop in a lay-up for Santa Cruz, though, and Los Angeles was unable to convert on the other end in the final 10 seconds, giving the Warriors the victory in a game featured 17 lead changes and six ties.

Five D-Fenders players finished in double-figures, led by Mike Taylor (24 points, 4 steals), Elijah Millsap (22 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds), and Courtney Fortson (15 points, 4 assists). Additionally, Jerome Jordan tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Morris Almond pitched in 10 points in the loss.

Santa Cruz was guided by Tyler (game-high 31 points, 6 rebounds), Travis Leslie (19 points), Taylor Griffin (11 points, 8 rebounds) and Darington Hobson (10 points, 5 assists).

The D-Fenders are slated to play their final regular season home game of the season on Wednesday, Apr. 3 at 7pm against the Canton Charge (NBA Affiliate: Cleveland Cavaliers). Ticket information can be found on www.d-fenders.com or by contacting Benny Garcia at (310) 426-6043/bgarcia@d-fenders.com.