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 Salt Lake City Stars

Stars Earn Eight in a Row with 52 Points from Kenneth Lofton Jr.

March 23, 2024 - NBA G League (G League)
Salt Lake City Stars News Release

HENDERSON, NV - The Salt Lake City Stars (16-13) the official NBA G League Affiliate of the Utah Jazz, extended their win streak to eight games, defeating the NBA G League Ignite (2-29), 120-108, Friday night at the Dollar Loan Center.

Utah Jazz assignment player Kenneth Lofton Jr., set a Stars record for most points by an assignment player with 52, nabbing 16 rebounds, and dishing out five assists. Stars forward Keshawn Justice had a strong game returning to the starting lineup, knocking down four three-pointers on the way to a 20-point night, in 41 minutes. Utah Jazz assignment forward Darius Bazley recorded 15 points, four assists, and a pair of blocked shots in his third start with the Stars. Meanwhile, guard Taevion Kinsey tallied 14 points on an efficient five-of-six shooting from the floor, collecting four assists, three rebounds, and two steals.

The opening minutes of the game were tightly contested, with the Stars and Ignite trading leads four times and tying three times, in the first four minutes. Salt Lake City took a four-point lead with a minute remaining in the period, but the Ignite managed to claw back to a tie at 30-30 after one. In the second quarter the Stars clamped down on defense, holding the Ignite to just 19 points on 28 percent shooting. Lofton Jr. nearly outscored Ignite on his own, putting up 18 points on four-of-five shooting, to give Salt Lake City a 58-49 halftime lead.

The Stars found their offensive rhythm after halftime, shooting 55 percent from the floor, on the way to a 31-point third quarter. However, Ignite recovered after their poor shooting second quarter, scoring 34 points, and cutting the Salt Lake City lead to just six at 89-83. The Stars pushed their lead out to 13 in the final period, surviving a late push by the Ignite, before ultimately claiming the contest, 120-108.

Lofton Jr. and Justice combined for 23 of Salt Lake City's 31 fourth quarter points.

Ignite guard Dink Pate led the team with 23 points, 11 assists, and six rebounds, for a double-double in 37 minutes of action. Ignite forward Matas Buzelis followed suit with 21 points and seven rebounds, in his 36 minutes on the floor.

The Stars aim to extend their winning streak to nine games when they wrap up their back-to-back set with the G League Ignite Saturday, March 23. The contest tips off at 8:00 P.M. MT and will be broadcast LIVE on Tubi.

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