STARS JUMP ON DRIVE EARLY TO WIN THIRD STRAIGHT
SALT LAKE CITY (January 23, 2018) - The Salt Lake City Stars (7-25) defeated the Grand Rapids Drive (14-18) at home on Tuesday night, picking up their third win in a row with a 118-104 victory. The Stars built a 14-point lead in the first quarter and never trailed as the Drive came out on the losing side for the fourth consecutive game.
Seven players finished in double figures for Salt Lake City, led by Isaiah Cousins with 26 points and six assists. Erick McCree added 18 points and finished with a plus-minus rating of +31, best of any player. Georges Niang chipped in 16 points as well and Diamond Stone had 15 points in just 20 minutes off the bench.
For the Drive, Marcus Thornton led the way with 20 points off the bench and Bronson Koenig scored 17 points, giving him 37 in his last two games. Landry Nnoko had 15 points as well and Reggie Hearn scored 13 points and tied for the team lead in rebounds with eight in his first game as a member of the Drive.
The Drive continued to have problems limiting their opponents' field goal percentage, as the Stars knocked down 51 percent of their attempts from the floor. Salt Lake City also shot 42 percent from three, knocking down 15 of them as seven players hit at least one shot from deep. The Stars also nearly tripled the Drive's steal total, 14 to five.
Grand Rapids shot 91 percent on 23 free-throw attempts while the Stars made only 11-of-19 free throws for 58 percent, but that was not enough to close the gap in efficiency. Salt Lake City's low turnover rate also allowed them to attempt 11 more field goals than the Drive, which combined with shooting over 50 percent from the floor allowed them to score 33 points in two of the four quarters.
The Stars will look to continue their resurgent win streak against the Austin Spurs at home on Friday night. The Drive conclude a four-game road trip as they head to Rio Grande Valley for a matchup that also comes on Friday night.
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