ONTARIO, CA – The South Bay Lakers suffered a heartbreaking loss in Ontario as they fell to the Agua Caliente Clippers, 118-117, on Thursday night. Vander Blue led the way for South Bay (13-7) with 24 points and six assists, while Thomas Bryant, Travis Wear and Ivica Zubac all pitched in 18 points for the Lakers. The Clippers (13-9) were paced by 28 points from Tyrone Wallace as they grabbed their second win in the season series.
Blue guided the Lakers to an early 32-29 lead after the first quarter with 10 points in the opening period. South Bay maintained their three-point edge, 61-58, at halftime despite 12 points in the second quarter from Agua Caliente’s Wallace.
The Clippers seemed to gain control of the game in the third quarter, leading by as many as eight, but Bryant made his presence felt with 10 points in the period to keep the score knotted up at 88 through three. The two teams went back and forth in the final quarter, but ultimately the scoring of J.J. O’Brien and Wallace, who combined for 22 in the fourth, proved to be just enough to give the Clippers a victory.
Wallace nearly grabbed a triple-double (28 points, six rebounds, 10 assists) and Vitto Brown added 20 points and seven rebounds for the Clippers. Also in double figures for Agua Caliente were O’Brien (19 points, seven assists, five steals), Ike Iroegbu (13 points), Tyler Roberson (13 points) and LaDontae Henton (11 points, eight rebounds).
Blue’s night (24 points, four rebounds, six assists, two steals) led the Lakers, who started a twin-tower lineup of Bryant (18 points, nine rebounds) and Zubac (18 points, eight rebounds, three blocks) for the first time this season. Wear (18 points, seven rebounds) and Scott Machado (13 points, eight assists, three steals) led the second unit for South Bay.
The South Bay Lakers will return home when they face the Salt Lake City Stars on Saturday, December 30 at 7:00 from the UCLA Health Training Center. South Bay won the first meeting of the season, 106-97, on December 11 in Salt Lake City behind 20 points from Thomas Bryant.