The Los Angeles D-Fenders got a big win on Monday night, beating the Idaho Stampede 108-99. The D-Fenders improved to 30-11, becoming the first team in the D-League to win 30 games. After taking the lead near the end of the first quarter the D-Fenders didn’t look back, maintaining the lead for the remainder of the game.
The D-Fenders’ Jamario Moon had another impressive performance, and was named player of the game. Moon finished with 19 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Guard Elijah Millsap finished the game with 17 points, six rebounds and three steals. Forward Otis George put in a strong effort as well, tallying up 15 points and three steals.
In his first game back from injury, point guard Courtney Fortson ended the game with 13 points, six assists and two steals. The D-Fenders had multiple players scoring in double figures; Malcolm Thomas and Orien Green combined for 24 points and 15 rebounds. Forward Zach Andrews was 5 for 7 from the field, finishing with 13 points.
The Stampede tried to make a comeback late in the fourth quarter cutting the lead down to nine, but were unable to pull out the win. Guard Marcus Banks and forward Seth Tarver led all Stampede players in scoring. Banks scored a game-high of 24 points and two assists. Tarver ended the game scoring 19 points along with seven rebounds and two steals. With this loss the Stampede accumulated their fourth loss in a row dropping down to 16-25.
Consistent performances, strong defense and balanced scoring allowed the D-Fenders to extend their lead on the Stampede by as many as 22 points. Another factor that played into the D-Fenders win was the amount of times that they were sent to the free throw line. The D-Fenders and Stampede combined for a total of 93 free-throws. The D-Fenders were 48 of 64 from the line, which exceeded a franchise single-game record for free throws made and attempted in a game.
The last time the two teams met the Stampede snapped the D-Fenders 10-game winning streak. The D-Fenders have won 13 of the last 14 games accumulating their only loss to the Stampede. Now the D-Fenders are hoping to continue their three-game winning streak as they close out their three game home-stretch on Saturday.
In order to pull out another win L.A. will need to be consistent once again on defense, and take more advantage of their opportunities at the free throw line. Regardless of having Fortson back from injury, the D-Fenders might have to face the Stampede without guard Darius Morris. Morris suffered a bruised left wrist in the D-Fenders 99-98 win over the Dakota Wizards last Saturday. The D-Fenders announced today that Morris status is currently listed as day-to-day.
The D-Fenders will face the Stampede once again in their last meeting of the regular season. While the D-Fenders look to close out their home stance strong, the Stampede are looking to prevent their fifth consecutive loss.