The Agua Caliente Clippers delivered a huge blow to the NBA G League Ignite’s playoff hopes after a 116-111 upset on Wednesday, March 3 (Thursday, March 4, Manila time) at the AdventHealth Arena in the Lake Buena Vista, Florida bubble.
Already out of postseason contention, the Clippers snapped a league-worst six-game losing streak and pushed their record up to 4-9.
Meanwhile, the once-undefeated Ignite are now hanging by a thread with the 8th and final playoff seed with a 7-6 slate.
Brandon Ashley led the Ignite veterans in the crushing loss with a game-high 26 points on an elite 12-of-15 clip while Fil-Am star prospect Jalen Green bounced back from a season-low 8-point outing with 20 markers, 6 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
Green, however, ultimately rushed and blew the endgame by hoisting a contested corner three with 30 seconds left while being down just 4, 108-112. Malik Fitts then corralled the missed jumper, and put the game away for good with two more charities off the quick foul, 114-108.
After trailing for the entirety of the first 3 quarters, Ignite finally went ahead with 10:11 left in the final frame, 83-82, but at the cost of Congolese prospect Jonathan Kuminga, who went down with an apparent leg injury the possession prior.
The game was a tug-of-war from this point onwards as both teams traded leads up until the 3:50 mark of the 4th, when James Palmer coolly sank a crucial three-point free throw for a 103-100 Clipper advantage.
This sparked a 7-2 Palmer scoring spurt for a 108-102 lead before Ashley and Green conspired for two quick triples to get within two, 108-110, with 54 ticks left.
Agua Caliente guard Jordan Ford led the win with 22 points, 5 assists, and 4 steals off the bench while Los Angeles Clippers two-way contract player Amir Coffey added 21 markers on a 5-of-12 clip from downtown.
Ignite will now prepare for a crucial back-to-back set-ender against Houston Rockets guard Kevin Porter Jr and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who are carrying a similar 7-6 slate and a four-game winning streak, on Friday, March 5. – Rappler.com
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