D-Fenders top Arsenal 99-95 for second straight win
Anaheim, Calif., December 1, 2007 - NBA Development League President Dan Reed was on hand for the Los Angeles D-Fenders vs. Anaheim Arsenal game on Saturday night and addressed the Anaheim fans about the promising state of the D-League and to thank them for their support of the Arsenal. Special guests aside, the D-Fenders posted their second straight team win beating the Anaheim Arsenal 99-95 on Saturday.
Down 6 points with 1:15 left in the game, Anaheim guard Guillermo Diaz missed a 7 foot jumper but Anaheim forward Steven Smith was there for the tip-in, foul and successful free throw to cut the Los Angeles lead to three points. Conversely, Smith then fouled Coby Karl with 30 seconds to play during a botched Arsenal breakaway. Karl sunk both free throws to put the D-Fenders up 5 points 94-89. A missed three pointer by Kedrick brown and rebound by the D-Fenders with 17 seconds to play sealed the victory for the D-Fenders.
Sean Banks and Wendell White got the D-Fenders' offense started early with 16 combined points in the first quarter. Banks ended with a game-high 23 points and 6 assists. White also contributed to the victory with 16 points and 5 rebounds. Despite outscoring the D-Fenders in the second half 50-47, the Arsenal didn't have enough firepower to outlast Los Angeles. Recent assignment from the Los Angeles Lakers, Coby Karl had 9 points through three quarters, but he provided the spark for the D-Fenders in the fourth quarter by scoring 10 points and ending the game with 19 points total.
"The game went well and we played smoothly. During the last three or four minutes it got a little rough. We had to pick it up and work on defense. I hope we can win against the Bakersfield Jam tomorrow night," D-Fenders' forward Wendell White said after the game.
Arsenal assistant coach Dean Murray said, "The team fought hard. We need to take care of the ball better at the end of the game. We made some critical turnovers that really hurt us."
The Arsenal attack was led by guard Guillermo Diaz's 21 points and Steven Smith's 17 points. Recent NBA assignment from the Orlando Magic, Marcin Gortat, had his best game yet with the Arsenal pouring in 14 points and 14 rebounds in 32 minutes.
After the game, Gortat said, "We had a tough first half, but played hard in the second half like we did last night against the Jam. We made some mistakes that we need to fix for the next game. We are playing better as a team and we are finally able to show what we can do."
This week the Arsenal play the Utah Flash on Monday and Wednesday night at 7:30PM at the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center. For ticket information please call (714)635-BALL. For all Arsenal team updates make sure to click on anaheimarsenal.com
The D-League teams and players deliver value to all of the communities which D-League teams call home. The Development League provides first-class family entertainment at affordable prices and its players are stellar role models for the fans that look up to them. Through D-League Cares and a variety of other community-based programs, the league office and teams are committed to being a positive influence in the communities that are served by the D-League.
A total of 25% of NBA draft choices have played in the D-League over the past two seasons. During the 2006-07 season 24 NBA players were assigned to play in the D-League and a grand total of 53 NBA players have been assigned to play in the D-League since the creation of the affiliation system in 2005. Assigned players have included 2006 lottery picks Patrick O'Bryant (Ninth overall selection by Golden State, assigned to Bakersfield Jam) and Mouhamed Sene (10th overall pick by Seattle, assigned to Idaho Stampede). Many of the players utilized their time in the D-League to work on various aspects of their game which needed improvement, and then returned to the NBA where they made an impact. Gerald Green, for example averaged 5.2 points per game with the Boston Celtics during his rookie season of 2005-06. During that season he was sent to the D-League twice where the high-flier worked on his outside shot, his ball-handling and other skills which the club felt needed seasoning. Green utilized the D-League to improve his game drastically, and the result was evident the following year when he posted averages of 10.4 points and 2.6 rebounds, which doubled his output from his rookie campaign.
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