Stars Fall to Blue in Postseason Matchup
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Salt Lake City Stars, the official NBA G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, fell to the Oklahoma City Blue 118-113 in the First Round of the 2019 NBA G League Playoffs. Tonight's single-elimination game concludes the Stars' season, the club's third campaign in Salt Lake City. The Blue advance to face the Santa Cruz Warriors in the Western Conference Semifinals on Friday, March 29.
The Stars were led by Utah Jazz assignment player Grayson Allen, who scored a game-high 37 points (23 in the first half) on 6-of-8 (.750) from three-point range to go with six rebounds and five assists. Utah Jazz two-way player Tyler Cavanaugh tallied his fourth consecutive double-double with 21 points and a game-high 13 boards, and Utah Jazz two-way player Naz Mitrou-Long handed out a game-high 10 assists to go with nine points. Tony Bradley, on assignment from the Utah Jazz, contributed 15 points on 7-of-14 (.500) from the floor.
The Blue were paced by Scotty Hopson, who logged team-highs of 26 points and five assists. Kevin Hervey finished with 22 points and six rebounds, and Deonte Burton, on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder, tallied 17 points, four rebounds and four assists.
The Stars built a 16-point lead (32-16) courtesy of a 24-8 run in the first quarter and extended their advantage to 23 points (47-24) following a 10-1 run to start the second frame. Salt Lake City led by 13 points (82-69) with 5:44 remaining in the third quarter, but Oklahoma City went on a 10-0 run to trim the deficit to three points (82-79) late in the period. The Blue took a one-point edge (92-91) with 9:35 remaining in the game and the two teams traded the lead in the ensuing minutes. The contest was knotted at 100-apiece with 4:27 left in the game and the Blue took a 105-100 lead by scoring five-straight points. The Stars pulled within one possession multiple times in the final 1:35 of the game, but Oklahoma City held on to secure the victory.
Tonight's game marked the Stars' first appearance in the postseason in the Salt Lake City Era (since 2016-17). The 2018-19 season was the Stars/Idaho Stampede franchise's winningest in 10 years, as the Stars earned 27 victories and improved by 11 wins compared to last season, which is tied with the Warriors for the largest season-over-season improvement in the NBA G League this year.
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