SANTA CRUZ, CA –The Santa Cruz Warriors (23-8) defeated the Pacific Division rival South Bay Lakers (12-19) 111-93 tonight at Kaiser Permanente Arena during the team’s first Latinx Heritage Night. The Sea Dubs are now 12-2 while holding their opponents under 100 points, the most wins in the G League this season.
Warriors guard Will Cherry scored a career-high 24 points via a career-high four made three-pointers on nine attempts (9-of-66 3FG before tonight) to go along with seven rebounds and four assists. Reserve scorer Kendrick Nunn logged 21 points on 8-of-15 from the field (53.3 percent FG) with four assists and two steals. Forward Juan Toscano-Anderson added 12 points, nine rebounds and six assists in 26 minutes of action.
The Lakers were led by center Johnathan Williams with 19 points and 12 rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. Forward Travis Wear scored 14 points and eight rebounds on 4-of-8 from three, while guard Scott Machado had 13 points and nine assists despite a season-high ten turnovers for the former Sea Dub.
Santa Cruz jumped out to a 9-2 lead to start the night, but South Bay went on a 6-0 run to end the first quarter to take a 27-23 lead.
The Warriors broke the game open with a 23-3 run in the second period, highlighted by eight points, five rebounds and three assists by Juan Toscano-Anderson during the run. Cherry finished with a game-high 11 points in the first half, his most in a half this season, as Santa Cruz took the lead for good with a 56-46 halftime lead.
Williams kept the game within single digits in the third by scoring 12 points in the period on 5-of-6 from the field. However, the Santa Cruz league-best defense clamped down in the fourth by holding the Lakers to 19 points in the period on 7-of-22 from the field (31.8 FG%), as Nunn and Cherry combined for 19 to secure the win for Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz will play five of their next six games on the road, starting this Wednesday, January 30 for a matinee matchup against the Memphis Hustle (8:30 a.m. PST, ESPN+). The Warriors will host their next home game on Wednesday, February 6 against the Stockton Kings (tip-off 7:00 p.m., NBC Sports Bay Area Plus). For tickets to next Wednesday’s home game, visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.