SANTA CRUZ, CA –The Santa Cruz Warriors (22-6) defeated the Oklahoma City Blue (21-9) 113-103 today at Cox Convention Center to solidify the best record in the NBA G League. Santa Cruz currently has a league-best six game winning streak, while Oklahoma City has lost three of their last four contests.
Santa Cruz had three players reach the 20-point mark today; guard Kendrick Nunn had 24 points on a perfect 8-of-8 shooting off the bench, while two-way players Marcus Derrickson and Damion Lee each had 22 points, with Lee adding 10 rebounds for his first double-double of the season. The Warriors matched their season-high with 16 made three-pointers today on 57.1 percent shooting from behind the arc (16-of-28 3FG).
Oklahoma City center Richard Solomon led the home team had 18 points and 11 rebounds today, while two-way wing Deonte Burton filled the stat sheet with 18 points, four rebounds, five assists, five steals and two blocks for the Blue. Guard Bryce Alford had 17 points on 4-of-10 from behind the arc and played a game-high 36 minutes.
Lee opened the contest with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting from the field to give Santa Cruz a 27-20 lead in the first quarter. The Warriors held the Blue to just 25.0 percent shooting in the opening frame (5-of-20 FG) and no made three-pointers (0-of-7 3FG), but Oklahoma City stayed in the game by shooting 10-of-12 from the line (83.3 percent FT).
Santa Cruz shot 72.7 percent from the field (16-of-22 FG) to score 38 points in the second period to take a 65-46 lead into halftime. Nunn scored 16 points of his 24 in the first half on a perfect 6-of-6 from the field.
A low-scoring third quarter only saw four Warriors score in the period, with Burton leading the Blue with nine points to bring the Sea Dubs lead down to 14 going into the fourth. Oklahoma City went on a 19-6 run in the fourth by scoring 11 points off eight Warriors turnovers to bring their deficit to within single digits. However, Derrickson and Nunn each scored eight in the fourth and the Sea Dubs combined to shoot 7-of-9 from the line in the final minute to stop the Blue’s late comeback.
The Warriors continue their three-game road trip in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on Tuesday, January 22 as they attempt to complete the franchise’s first season sweep of the Skyforce, the Miami Heat’s G League affiliate. The Warriors will return to Santa Cruz next Sunday, January 27 (5:00 p.m. PST, NBC Sports Bay Area) to host the South Bay Lakers for the team’s first Latinx Heritage Night. For tickets to next Sunday’s home game, visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.