By Asha Doucet
The South Bay Lakers bested the Santa Cruz Warriors for their first home game of the season in thrilling fashion.
Forward Travis Wear made an early impact in the game from three-point land to help push South Bay to a quick first-quarter lead.
It was also defense and forcing turnovers that gave the Lakers control of the game and put them up by as much as 11. However, several blown layups let the Warriors back in it and at the end of one South Bay was only up by two, 34-32.
The Lakers’ missed opportunities at the rim would haunt them as the Warriors went on a run in the second quarter controlling all the momentum of the game heading into halftime.
When the third quarter started Santa Cruz didn’t let up; they put the pressure on. After just two minutes passed in the second half, the Warriors had extended their halftime lead from eight to 15. Just as forcing turnovers got the Lakers out to an early first-quarter lead, Santa Cruz forced South Bay into multiple turnovers that ultimately helped them go up by as many as 20 points.
But the Lakers had another run in them.
Guard Scott Machado kept attacking the paint and chipped away at the Warriors’ lead.
In route to 19 points, he helped South Bay get back into the game. But it would be Caruso and Bryant that helped complete the team’s comeback.
After fighting all the way from down 20, the Lakers would reign supreme after a tit-for-tat fourth quarter, 127-123.
This high-scoring affair had ten lead changes and eight ties but in the end South Bay’s 35-point fourth quarter was the difference in the game.
Caruso finished with 29 points and seven assists while Bryant had a game-high 30 points and eight rebounds.
— South Bay Lakers (@SouthBayLakers) November 9, 2017