EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors (29-19) defeated the Los Angeles D-Fenders (32-15) 134-124 on Saturday night at Toyota Sports Center. Santa Cruz will clinch a playoff berth if Sioux Falls is defeated by the Northern Arizona Suns tomorrow at 6 p.m. PST at Sanford Pentagon.
The Warriors were paced by Phil Pressey (32 points, 8 assists) and Jabari Brown (32 points, 7 rebounds). James Southerland added 17 points and 9 rebounds, while Alex Hamilton came off the bench to add 14 points. Damian Jones, on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, finished with 11 points and 7 rebounds, while Scott Wood contributed 11 points.
Josh Magette led the D-Fenders with a triple-double, notching 25 points, 15 assists, and 10 rebounds. Travis Wear finished with a double-double, contributing 19 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Harper and Troy Devries added 17 points apiece for Los Angeles.
The first quarter consisted of high-energy play from both the Warriors and D-Fenders. Santa Cruz finished the frame shooting 56% from the field, including 70% from beyond-the-arc. Scott Wood scored all of his 11 points in the period as Santa Cruz secured a 41-39 edge by the end of first-quarter play.
The Warriors would lead by as many as 10 points in the second period before the D-Fenders took their first lead since the opening minutes of the game with 5:48 remaining in the half. The tight battle in the opening half would result in a 74-74 tie at the break.
The third frame consisted of 6 ties and 3 lead changes as the Warriors outscored the D-Fenders 28-19 in the period. Santa Cruz would go on a 15-2 run in the final 4:15 of the third quarter to lead by 9 points at the end of the frame.
The Warriors would maintain their advantage through the entirety of the final period, opening up their lead to as many as 15 points. Phil Pressey and Jabari Brown combined for 24 points in the fourth frame, powering the visitors to a crucial win.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will travel to Utah to take on the Salt Lake City Stars on Monday, Mar. 27 at 6:00 p.m. PST at Lifetime Activities Center. Fans can catch the game the game on Facebook Live by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.
Tickets are still available to attend the Warriors’ final home game of the regular season on Mar. 31 against the Los Angeles D-Fenders. Tickets can be purchased at the Santa Cruz Warriors’ headquarters at 903 Pacific Avenue, online at www.santacruzbasketball.com or over the phone at (831) 713-4400.