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Ignite return to win column, taking down Spurs in Austin

For the second time in the last eight tries, the NBA G League Ignite picked up a win amidst a season-long road trip for this year’s developmental group.

The Ignite beat the Austin Spurs, 106-99, from the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park in the second of a six-game road trip Wednesday, Feb. 8.

With the win, the team improved to 7-9 on the year. Wednesday’s game marked the first of back-to-back meetings with the Spurs. The second and final installment of the trip takes place Friday, Feb. 10 with tip-off scheduled for 5:30 p.m. from the same location.

Guard Pooh Jeter tied a season-high 22 points off-the-bench including some clutch buckets down-the-stretch for the Ignite to escape with a win. Jeter scored 12 points in the final 3:11 of regulation.

After trailing by double-digits at several points of the game, Austin went on a 24-7 run in order to tie the game at 91 apiece more than halfway through the fourth quarter.

Jeter broke that 91-all tie with one of his eventual five made three-pointers. Moments later, he drained his fifth three of the game to push a one-point lead to four with 79 seconds left in regulation, forcing a Spurs’ timeout in the process.

Austin made multiple stabs into the once 18-point deficit early in the third quarter before going on a 13-4 to trim it back to single-digits. Just before halftime, the Ignite countered with a 12-4 run to close the frame.

Forward Leonard Miller scored five of the team’s 12 points during that run on the way to 20 points on 9-of-12 from the field. He also hauled in 11 rebounds to pick up his fifth double-double of the season.

Miller had a perfect 4-for-4 first quarter, notching 8 points as the Ignite built a 17-point lead in the opening 12 minutes. The Spurs cut into that big lead with a 14-5 run midway through the second quarter but once again the Ignite responded with a 13-6 run to take a 13-point lead into the locker room at halftime.

Reserve guard Marcus Graves went down early in the second quarter and had to be helped off the floor with the help of teammate Shareef O’Neal and a member of the Ignite team staff.

Later in the quarter, center Eric Mika would go down after twisting his ankle. He’d finish the quarter but would not return following halftime. The team is already without fellow center Efe Abogidi for the remainder of the season after undergoing knee surgery.

Mika recorded 12 points and seven rebounds in 10 minutes of action.

Coming into the game, the Ignite were already without projected No. 2 overall pick Scoot Henderson (concussion) and projected first-round pick Sidy Cissoko (Health and Safety Protocols).

Both Henderson and Cissoko are two of the four representatives expected to take part in the 2023 Jordan Brand Rising Stars challenge during NBA All-Star Weekend later this month.

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