Jam Escapes with Victory in Anaheim
ANAHEIM, Calif., March 27, 2007 - The Bakersfield Jam defeated the Anaheim Arsenal by the score of 108-98 Tuesday night to win their fourth consecutive game. Mateen Cleaves led the Jam with 19 points to go along with his season-high 15 assists. The winning streak for the Jam has come after losing their previous seven games.
The Jam jumped out to an early lead after one quarter and held on to it throughout the entire game to earn the victory, having their largest lead of 21 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. Steven Smith led an Arsenal rally late in the fourth quarter, but could not get any closer than six points.
Outside of Cleaves' performance, the Jam received help from Patrick O'Bryant, who poured in 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds. Kevinn Pinkney scored 18 points for the Jam.
"We played very well defensively tonight," said Jam head coach Jim Harrick. "Our defense gave us a lot of energy which carried over to the offensive end."
Steven Smith led the Arsenal, scoring 34 points and collecting 11 rebounds. Smith has now scored at least 20 points in eight consecutive games for the Arsenal, which includes his third 30-point performance in the eight-game span. Jawad Williams poured in 17 points. .
The Arsenal could not get their shots to fall consistently, as they shot just 36 percent from the floor compared to the Jam's 50 percent.
The story of the game was the battle inside the key, where the Jam outscored the Arsenal by 38 points (68 to 30) on points scored inside the paint.
"We need to play hard for 48 minutes," said Arsenal interim head coach Reggie Geary. "A sense of urgency is needed, we are in a playoff run and we need to recognize that."
The Arsenal (20-26) will look to turn things around when they face the Los Angeles D-Fenders Sunday afternoon at the Staples Center. Bakersfield (17-29) will try to continue their winning streak Sunday when they host the Idaho Stampede.
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