DES MOINES, Iowa – In a back-and-forth NBA G League game that featured 21 lead changes and 14 ties, the South Bay Lakers held off the Iowa Wolves,114-106, on Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Arena.
Iowa (11-14) and South Bay (17-7) will meet again on Friday night at 7 p.m. CT inside Wells Fargo Arena. The second-place Lakers moved closer to securing a playoff spot in the Western Conference while the Wolves will vie to move back up in the standings for one of the last playoff spots.
Seven Wolves scored 10 or more points led Chris Silva, who tallied a double-double with 20 points and 11 rebounds. Brandon Sampson recorded his first double-double of the season with 17 points and a season-high 11 rebounds. Recently reacquired Malik Benlevi continued his strong play since his return with 15 points and six rebounds.
Mason Jones of the Lakers poured in a game-high 37 points helped by a season-tying six three-pointers. Mac McClung finished with a double-double with 23 points and 11 rebounds.
The Wolves opened the game on an 11-0 run as Sampson scored seven of those early points. The Lakers used their own run of nine-straight points. Iowa made back-to-back baskets for a 28-27 lead at the end of the first. The Wolves recorded an assist on eight of their first 10 field goals.
10 lead changes happened in the second quarter as the teams went back-and-forth. Sampson hit a buzzer-beating three right before halftime that tied the game at 56-56.
Isaiah Miller converted a three-point play that gave Iowa the lead at 91-90 minutes into the fourth. However, South Bay countered with a 10-3 run that grabbed control of the game. Later, Iowa pulled within four points when Melvin Frazier Jr. made one of two free throws with 1:05 left in the game. Iowa forced a jump ball that it won but Matt Lewis’ three-point attempt was off the mark as South Bay iced the game with free throws.