MISSISSAUGA, Ontario – The Santa Cruz Warriors (13-12) fell to the Oklahoma City Blue (18-9) 95-86 on Thursday night in their first match-up of the 2017 NBA D-League Showcase at the Hershey Centre.
Scott Wood and Alex Hamilton paced the Warriors with 16 points apiece. Dennis Clifford notched a double-double with 14 points and 15 rebounds. LaDontae Henton added 13 points and 6 rebounds for Santa Cruz.
The Blue’s Reggie Williams led all scorers with 26 points on 10-of-19 shooting to go with seven boards in 32 minutes. Dakari Johnson had 25 points, 13 rebounds and four blocks in 35 minutes. Daniel Hamilton also pitched in a double-double for Oklahoma City by scoring 11 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The Warriors and the Blue remained close in the opening minutes of the game until Oklahoma City went on a 10-0 run to take a 12-point advantage by the 4:12 mark. Santa Cruz struggled to respond, finishing the first quarter shooting 27.3% from the field.
Santa Cruz saw their first lead of the night off a floater from Cam Jones with 7:11 left in the second quarter. The Warriors reserves outscored the Blue’s reserves 14-2 in the frame, helping Santa Cruz outscore Oklahoma City 27-19 in the second quarter.
The Warriors would turn a halftime deficit to a five-point advantage after going on a 7-2 run to open the third quarter. With the game tied 68-68 with 2:44 left in the third period, the Blue made their move with a 17-0 run that spanned 5:48 of game clock. During the run, Oklahoma City forced 11 consecutive Santa Cruz misses and three turnovers while hitting all seven trips to the foul line. The Blue never looked back from there, with their lead only falling below double digits in the final minute of the game.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will play one more Showcase match-up against the Texas Legends on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 7:00 a.m. PST at Hersey Centre. Fans can catch the game on Facebook Live, by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.