SANTA CRUZ, CA – The Santa Cruz Warriors (1-1) earned their first win of the 2019-20 season on opening night at Kaiser Permanente Arena against the Stockton Kings (1-1), 88-86. The final three minutes of the game evolved into a thrilling finish, as Santa Cruz scored five of the last six points of the evening in a come-from-behind victory.
Four Warriors scored in double figures, led by Jared Cunningham’s 24 points and five assists in 35 minutes. Guard Jeremy Pargo matched Cunningham with three made three-pointers, along with six assists and two steals. Devyn Marble added 14 points off the bench and center Deyonta Davis filled the stat sheet with 10 points, five rebounds, and game-highs of four steals and four blocks.
Stockton was led by Kyle Guy’s game-high 25 points on six made three pointers in 42 minutes. Cody Demps secured 19 points and 10 rebounds and center Eric Mika collected 24 rebounds (10 offensive), the most boards allowed by a single opponent in Santa Cruz Warriors franchise history.
Guy and the Kings starters hit five threes to start the game to give Stockton an early eight-point lead, their largest of the night. Santa Cruz’s defense controlled play in the second frame, holding Stockton to just 11 points on 15.0 percent from the field (3-of-20 FG). Cunningham took advantage of the NBA G League’s experimental free throw rule, securing six points on three made charity stripe shots to help Santa Cruz take a 48-41 lead at halftime.
The two teams played themselves to a stalemate until Kyle Guy’s three pointer with 3:50 remaining gave the Kings an 85-83 lead. The two teams went scoreless until a Pargo driving layup and Cunningham fast break dunk gave the Warriors an 87-85 lead with 25 seconds remaining. Stockton pulled to within one on a Kyle Guy technical free throw due to Santa Cruz having four players on the floor. Cunningham then split a pair of free throws, and Guy missed a three pointer to win the game as time expired to give Santa Cruz their first win of the season.
Both teams continue to protect their home floor, as Santa Cruz is 3-0 against the Kings at home and winless (0-3) at Stockton Arena. The two teams will play again in Stockton on December 28, 2019.
The Warriors will now travel to Edinburg, Texas to face the defending 2018 NBA G League Champion Rio Grande Vipers Tuesday night (5:00 p.m. tip-off, NBC Sports Bay Area) to start a two-game Texas road trip. Santa Cruz returns to Kaiser Permanente Arena on Sunday, November 17 against the Salt Lake City Stars (5:00 p.m. tip-off). All fans in attendance will receive a Santa Cruz Warriors 2019-20 schedule magnet, courtesy of Sawyer Chiropractic Group. To secure seats for all Santa Cruz Warriors home games, fans are encouraged to visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.
For more information on the Santa Cruz Warriors 2019-20 NBA G League season, presented by Kaiser Permanente, visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.