The South Bay Lakers overcame an 18-point second-quarter deficit to defeat G League Ignite, 112-105, Friday evening at the UCLA Health Training Center in El Segundo to begin play in the NBA G League’s Showcase Cup.
Chaundee Brown made a 3-point basket with three minutes, 21 seconds to play to give South Bay its first lead, 103-100, part of a 12-0 run that gave it a 107-100 lead with 2:21 left.
Malik Pope ended the run with a 3-point basket with 1:58 remaining, cutting South Bay’s lead to 107-103.
South Bay made five of six free throws in the final 1:35 to seal the victory before a crowd announced at 207.
South Bay trailed 94-85 entering the fourth quarter, then scored eight unanswered points to cut the deficit to 98-95 with 6:40 remaining.
South Bay, the Los Angeles Lakers’ NBA G League affiliate, was outscored 42-28 in the first quarter. It trailed 50-32 and 52-34 in the second quarter and 70-60 at halftime.
Guard Mac McClung led five South Bay players in double figures with 24 points, while Brown added 23, Elijah Cain 19 and Paris Bass 18.
Brown had a game-best plus-19 plus/minus, with South Bay outscoring Ignite by 19 in his 40:24 on the court.
Guard Dyson Daniels led five Ignite players in double figures with 22 points while forward MarJon Beauchamp added 19.
The game was South Bay’s first since March 11, 2020. Its final six games of the 2019-20 season were canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The team opted not to play in the abbreviated 2020-21 season which was conducted at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
The game also marked Miles Simon’s debut as South Bay’s coach, replacing Coby Karl, whose contract was not renewed after coaching the team since 2016 when it was known as the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Simon has been a Los Angeles Lakers’ assistant coach since 2017, a role he continues in.
Ignite was formed in 2020 to give top young prospects a chance to begin their professional careers while receiving mentorship and life skills training and preparing for the NBA draft. The team is a mix of top youth standouts and NBA and G League veterans.
Daniels is a 6-foot, 6-inch, 18-year-old guard who has played for Australia’s national team.
The Showcase Cup is a 14-game competition that will conclude at next month’s NBA G League Winter Showcase. The NBA G League’s 36-game regular season will begin Dec. 27.
South Bay will next play Nov. 17, also against Ignite at the UCLA Health Training Center.