SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Santa Cruz Warriors (30-19) defeated the Salt Lake City Stars (14-34) 128-123 on Monday night at Lifetime Activities Center. With tonight’s victory, the Warriors clinch their fourth playoff berth in the last five seasons.
Jabari Brown who was named “NBA D-League Performer of the Week” earlier today came off the bench to lead all scorers with 29 points for the Warriors. Damian Jones, on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, contributed 20 points and 6 rebounds, while James Southerland notched a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Alex Hamilton came off the bench to add 15 points and 7 assists for Santa Cruz.
The Stars were paced by Quincy Ford who finished with 25 points and 5 rebounds. Brice Johnson came off-the-bench to contribute 18 points, while JJ O’Brien and Henry Sims added 15 points apiece. Jermaine Taylor and Tyrone Wallace both scored 12 points apiece for Salt Lake City.
The Warriors took a quick seven-point advantage to open the game, though Salt Lake City would respond by outscoring the visitors 15-4 to secure a four-point surplus with 5:04 remaining in the period. Back-and-forth scoring ensued through the remainder of the frame, with the Warriors holding a 33-29 lead at the end of the quarter.
Santa Cruz opened the second frame on a 10-4 run to reclaim the advantage early, and would lead by as many as 12 points in the quarter. The Warriors would outscore the Stars by 5 points in the period to hold a 68-59 lead at the half.
Salt Lake City came out of the break with high-energy play, outscoring the Warriors 20-9 to take back the lead with 5:58 remaining in the period. The Stars would lead by as many as 8 points, shooting 65.2% from the field and 60% from beyond-the-arc, en route to outscoring the Warriors 38-26 in the frame. The hosts’ gritty play would earn them a three-point advantage heading into the final period.
The fourth quarter consisted 6 lead changes and 2 ties, with neither team leading by more than two possessions. A driving layup from Alex Hamilton with 6:22 left in regulation gave the Warriors a lead that they would not relinquish, despite the Stars coming within one possession with 7.0 seconds remaining.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will play one final regular season home game against the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Friday, Mar. 31 at 7:00 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente Arena.
Santa Cruz Warriors playoff tickets will go on sale to the general public this Wednesday, March 29th at 4:00pm. Fans can visit www.santacruzbasketball.com, call 831-713-4400 or stop by the front office at 903 Pacific Ave STE 101 to purchase their tickets. To receive early presale access, fans are encouraged to visit www.santacruzbasketball.com and sign-up for “Warriors Insider” alerts which guarantees access to playoff tickets before they are released to the general public.