D-Fenders Take Thunder Out Of T-Birds

January 22, 2007 - NBA G League (G League) - Los Angeles D-Fenders News Release

LOS ANGELES, Calif.- The Los Angeles D-Fenders of the NBA Development League defeated the Albuquerque Thunderbirds for the second consecutive time in three days with this afternoon's 100-88 victory at STAPLES Center.

The D-Fenders came out of halftime with energy and defensive tenacity, opening the half with a 6-0 run. Los Angeles outscored Albuquerque 29-14 in the third quarter with forward Andre Patterson leading the way. Patterson scored 16 points in the quarter going 8-9 from the floor. He finished the game with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Frontcourt mate Sean Banks dropped 8 points and dished out 2 assists in the quarter. Banks ended the contest with 24 points, 2 blocks, and 2 steals.

"I thought we played great defense. We got stops and several fast break opportunities. Albuquerque didn't do a very good job of getting back on defense, and I thought that was what opened up the game," said D-Fenders Head Coach Dan Pannagio.

Los Angeles led by 20 points heading into the final quarter. Albuquerque attempted a late charge towards the end of the game, but could not overcome the huge deficit.

"Los Angeles played hard. They attacked the offensive boards and we just weren't ready for the match. When you're not ready to play a team that's going to attack you like that, your going to lose," said Thunderbirds Head Coach and former Los Angeles Lakers star Michael Cooper.

Albuquerque was led by guard Cedric Bozeman. Bozeman had 16 points to go along with his 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Thunderbirds forward Joe Shipp added 18 points.

The D-Fenders outrebounded the Thunderbirds 48-44, and only had 13 turnovers to Albuquerque's 20.

"I was impressed," said Lakers basketball consultant Tex Winter. "The players are in the learning process and, it's amazing to me that they do as well as they do in the short time the coaching staff has had them. I think Coach Dan and his staff are doing a terrific job."

The D-Fenders have the lead in the series between the two teams, which stands at 2-1 and the D-Fenders now sit at 12-11 (.522) overall.

This Friday, January 26 the D-Fenders host the Colorado 14ers at STAPLES Center, before the Lakers game, with a 3:30pm tip off.

Having a Lakers ticket for a STAPLES Center home game is also your ticket to a lower level seat for the D-Fenders. Lakers season ticket holders who attend a D-Fenders home game will receive a special gift, while supplies last, by visiting the Season Ticket Holder Booth on the main concourse at the Figueroa Street Entrance.

On July 31, 2006 the Los Angeles Lakers announced that they had become the first NBA franchise in history to own an NBA Development League team. The Los Angeles D-Fenders play their home games at STAPLES Center pre and post Lakers home games. The Lakers devoted fans were given the opportunity to name the NBA D-League team in an online naming contest.

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The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

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