The losing streak lasted nearly a month but after eight straight losses the NBA G League Ignite picked up their first win in the month of December.
After pulling away late, the Ignite beat the Santa Cruz Warriors, 122-118, Friday, Dec. 16 from the Kaiser Permanente Arena. The Warriors played with eight players in uniform.
Through three games this season, the Ignite have taken two meetings against Santa Cruz.
Now, this year’s developmental team is 4-12 so far this season with the annual G League Winter Showcase upcoming. The highly-scouted four-day event will begin Monday, Dec. 19 and will be played at the Mandalay Bay.
Each team in attendance will play two games though none of the games will be counted toward the team’s overall record. Beginning on January 5, players will be able to sign 10-day contracts in the NBA without a hardship waiver being needed.
Veteran guard Pooh Jeter led by example, leading the team with 22 points on 9-of-15 shooting including four made three-pointers, both season-highs. Fifteen of his 22 points came in the first quarter. He also dished out six assists.
Jeter put in a pullup jumper to put the Ignite up four points with less than 12 seconds left in regulation. In addition to that, he knocked down a three to tie the game at 114 apiece, that crossed him over into 20-point territory.
Two weeks ago, Jeter turned 39 years old and is currently playing in his 16th season.
Prior to Jeter’s heroics, Santa Cruz had just drained two 28-foot three-pointers to capture its first lead of the game.
Fellow veteran John Jenkins shined as his minutes restriction was lightened, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the first half during his 25-plus minutes on the court. Jenkins also finished with a +10 plus/minus, the highest of any Ignite player.
Jenkins nailed his lone three-pointer in the first quarter, forcing a Warriors timeout with the home team down 11-2. Before the end of the opening frame, the Ignite built a lead as large as 16 points.
While Jenkins played in his second game since returning from injury, guard London Johnson played in his first game since Nov. 7. Johnson missed the previous 13 games nursing a bad hip.
In his return, Johnson made his first start of the season, scoring eight of his eventual 11 points in the third quarter. He shot 4-of-5 from the field including three made threes. One his made threes came about midway through the fourth quarter to put the Ignite up six.
Forward Leonard Miller also hit some big shots in that fourth quarter including a three-pointer with the Ignite already up two and then securing an offensive rebound followed by a putback to go up five.
Moments later, Miller fouled out of the game with 6:48 left in regulation. He finished the night with 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting to go along with five rebounds.
Miller has played himself into the latter parts of the first round of the NBCSports latest mock draft.
Presumed No. 2 overall pick in next year’s upcoming draft, Scoot Henderson (concussion/nasal fracture), missed his ninth straight game.
According to the team, Henderson is fully recovered from the concussion while his broken nose has been monitored closely as he gears toward a return date.