Ignite escape Birmingham undefeated, win second straight one-possession game
A late timeout from Birmingham head coach TJ Saint wiped off a game-tying three-point basket for his team, saving a second straight one-possession win for the NBA G League Ignite from Legacy Arena.
For a second consecutive time, the Ignite beat the Squadron, this time 119-116 despite a 10-0 run by Birmingham to close the game. This year’s developmental team is now 2-0 on the road to start the regular season.
Down three, the Squadron missed a tying three-point chance but got the offensive rebound and kicked it out for the deep ball with 0.8 left on the clock. However, Saint called a timeout immediately after the offensive rebound, negating the game-tying shot.
Two nights ago, the Ignite beat Birmingham, 126-124, on a last second scoop shot from guard Scoot Henderson.
With a 3-1 record to start the year, the Ignite will now head back home for a four-game homestand that begins with two games against the Santa Cruz Warriors. It will be the first time this season that the Ignite will play games in back-to-back nights. The first matchup is set to be played Thursday, Jan. 5 from The Dollar Loan Center.
Despite going scoreless for the final 3:28 of regulation and allowing that 10-0 run to the Squadron to close the game, the Ignite were able to hold on down-the-stretch behind the strong play of Henderson once again.
Henderson scored seven of his 26 points in a two-minute stretch of the fourth quarter that saw the Ignite push their lead to 14, the largest of the game. To start the contest, Henderson was 3-of-3 from the field with six points to go along with six assists on his way to 13 first half points.
He finished with 26 points on 10-of-13 shooting to go along with eight assists and five rebounds.
Fellow guard London Johnson added 17 points of his own off-the-bench with only one miss from the field.
As a team, the Ignite shot 50% from the field for the second straight game after shooting 60% on Sunday. As a result, it brought its total field goal rate to 88-for-157 from the floor in two games at Birmingham.
Most recently, the team was aided by a strong inside presence led by center Eric Mika and forward Leonard Miller.
Mika powered his way to a double-double in the first half en route to a 23-point, 15-rebound double-double by game’s end. His 15 rebounds were a game-high while shooting 8-of-13 from the field.
Miller came off the bench after missing the Ignite’s last game with lower back soreness but returned with his first double-double of the regular season. He recorded 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting with 11 rebounds.
Mika and Miller helped the Ignite dominate the rebounding category, 43-32.
Guards Cameron Young and Pooh Jeter also sat out for the second straight game.