SANTA CRUZ, CA –The Santa Cruz Warriors continued their best start in franchise history tonight, beating the Northern Arizona Suns 115-112 in Prescott, Arizona to make it five straight wins (5-0) to start the 2018-19 NBA G League season. Despite trailing by as many as 18 in the second quarter, the Warriors took off after halftime thanks to 18 second half points by reserve guard Kendrick Nunn and 17 points by guard Darius Morris.
Nunn finished with a game-high 26 points on 10-of-22 shooting (45.4 FG%) to go with a season-high five steals tonight. Following his 32-point performance against the Iowa Wolves on Saturday night, he is the first Warrior to lead both teams in scoring in consecutive games off the bench since Jabari Brown (March 25 & 27, 2017).
Morris played a game-high 41 minutes tonight to finish with 25 points, six rebounds and four assists. Two-way forward Marcus Derrickson, who re-joined Santa Cruz today, had 11 points, a team-high nine rebounds and four assists. Seven of eight Warriors players who saw the floor tonight scored in double figures.
The Suns (1-4) were led by forward Aaron Epps with a team-high 24 points on 9-of-11 from the field (81.8 FG%) and 13 rebounds. Guard Peter Jok had 22 points on 9-of-13 from the field (69.2 FG%) and Elie Okobo, who was assigned to Northern Arizona this morning by Phoenix, had 15 points and a game-high 10 assists.
Northern Arizona scorched the Warriors with a 15-5 run to start the game and ended the first quarter shooting 15-of-20 from the field (75.0 FG%). Despite trailing by 18 at the 6:08 mark in the second period, Warriors guard Antonius Cleveland kept the game close with 12 points in the first half to help close the gap to 65-57 at halftime.
Morris scored 12 of his 25 points in the third quarter to spark a Santa Cruz run, including a step back three to give the Warriors their first lead of the night, 75-74. Santa Cruz never relinquished the lead thereafter, thanks to Nunn’s 12 point fourth quarter and the Warriors grabbing a season-high 20 offensive rebounds to hold a 26-2 advantage in second chance points tonight.
The undefeated Warriors will now return to Santa Cruz to host Golden State Warriors Championship Weekend, with the first 1,500 fans to arrive at Kaiser Permanente Arena on Friday, November 16 for the team’s game against the South Bay Lakers receiving a 2018 NBA Championship Banner. On Sunday, November 18 when the Northern Arizona Suns visit Santa Cruz, the first 1,500 fans in attendance will receive 2018 Championship Replica Rings. For information on tickets for this weekend and all Warriors home games, visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.