SANTA CRUZ, CA –The Santa Cruz Warriors (8-1) couldn’t take advantage of a season-best 16 steals and 27 forced turnovers tonight against the Agua Caliente Clippers (4-4), dropping their first game of the season 103-84 in Ontario, California.
Guard Kendrick Nunn matched a game-high with 24 points off the bench, his fourth game this season leading the team in scoring as a reserve. Nunn also contributed with six rebounds, three assists and four steals, but got his buckets on 10-of-29 shooting from the field (34.5%).
Clippers two-way forward Johnathan Motley, who was announced as NBA G League Player of the Week earlier today, led Agua Caliente with 24 points and ten rebounds, his sixth double-double of the season. Center Angel Delgado finished with 15 points and 19 rebounds tonight, the most boards by a Warriors opponent since Jack Cooley grabbed 22 on March 7, 2015 as a member of the Idaho Stampede.
Guard Michael Gbinije scored all 14 of his points in the first half, shooting 4-of-4 from three, to help the Warriors to a six point lead early in the game. However, guard Jerome Robinson, currently on assignment from the Los Angeles Clippers, hit a step-back three with two minutes remaining in the period to give Agua Caliente a lead they would never relinquish.
Despite 18 second-half points from Nunn, Santa Cruz only shot 24.1 percent from the field in the second half (14-of-58 FG) and committed a season-high 18 fouls in the half. Agua Caliente kept the game in hand thanks to Robinson’s 18 points and 19 points from forward Jamel Artis.
Santa Cruz started the season with an 8-0 record, tying the 2013-14 Idaho Stampede for the second-best start to an NBA G League season. The 2013-14 Rio Grande Valley Vipers own the best start in NBA G League history (9-0), with current Santa Cruz guard Darius Morris playing for the Vipers towards the end of that record-setting season.
The Warriors will now return to Santa Cruz to host a home back-to-back against the Texas Legends, with the first 1,500 fans to arrive at Kaiser Permanente Arena Friday night receiving a Draymond Green Bobblehead. For information on tickets for next weekend and all Santa Cruz Warriors home games, visit santacruzbasketball.com or call (831) 713-4400.