Los Angeles Wins 2 Games vs Kansas City
- By Jron Magcale, Day 53, 2023
LOS ANGELES - It seems like the Los Angeles Fireballs have the Kansas City Knights number, as they went 2-0 this past sim vs the Knights. Chris LaCruz is showing impressive MVP form early this season as he dominated both wins.
Fireballs Torched Knights in LA
Fireballs - 120
Knights - 104
The Fireballs looking to bounce back after they lost their last home game vs the Scorpions. The Knights visited LA and the Fireballs didn't waste any time and went on starting hot in the 1st half outscoring the Knights 67-58, the 2nd half is pretty much the same story as the Fireballs limited the Knights to only 12 points in the 3rd quarter before they went on for the kill in the 4th quarter torching the KC franchise with 42 points. The game ended with 120-104 and a convincing win at home.
The Fireballs were hyper defensively as they collectively had 16 blocks (Devan Carroll had 6 and Derrick Aririguzoh had 4), but the story of the game is Chris LaCruz' big game almost hitting another 60-point game scoring 59 points to go with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 blocks and a steal. He shot fairly well 22/35 FG, 5/7 3FG and 10/11 FT, LaCruz is in his usual zone as he was aggressively attacking and getting the best of his match up. Helping LaCruz is his backcourt mate Jamal Wilkinson who seems to have been shooting better now scoring 18 points on 7/12 FG, 4/7 3FG. Newly acquired wing Reggie Coleman contributed 11 points on selective shooting 4/6 FG, 3/4 3FG. Devan Carroll wasn't a factor offensively but was crucial on everything else as the versatile forward despite scoring 7 points had 11 assists, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks. LaCruz' backup TJ Holloway was flawless scoring 12 points on 4/4 shooting, all 3s. The Knights was lead by Shandon James 27 points and Kelvin Hawes' 19 points and 18 rebounds.
"Well, you guys heard the chant almost the whole game everytime Chris (LaCruz) touches the ball you here MVP chants and for a good reason, he has been unbelievable this season and we are witnessing it first hand. Devan (Carroll) compliments him very well because he doesn't need to score big points to be effective, he does everything else well which is why it is such a weapon to have him." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes commented after the game.
BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13182
Fireballs Pierced Through Knights Armor with a Win
Knights - 111
Fireballs - 115
The Fireballs traveled to Kansas City after taking care of their homecourt the last game. The Knights has revenge on their mind but the Fireballs jump early with a 35-21 lead, the Knights tried to fight back scoring 28 points in the 2nd quarter but the Fireballs managed to score 26 of their own to still have the lead by half time, 49-65. The 2nd half started competitively but Fireballs again had the upper hand 34-28 when the last quarter started, the Knights mounted a big run but the spread was too high and the time was too short although the Knights outscored the Fireballs in the 4th, 34-20 it wasn't enough as the Fireballs came way with the 115-111 win. The interior defense of the Fireballs again was a key to the victory as they were able to record 16 blocks for the 2nd consecutive game (Devan Carroll and Derrick Aririguzoh both had 5 blocks each).
Chris LaCruz was again the catapult for the win as he flirted with a triple double 34 points, 11 assists 8 rebounds and a steal. Reggie Coleman plays the secondary scorer this game scoring his season high as a Fireball 24 points on 8/14 FG, 6/9 3FG, 2/2 FT to go with his 7 assists, 6 rebounds and 1 steal. All-around forward Devan Carroll was again a factor all over the board as he recorded 15 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks, 4 assists and 1 steal. Wilkinson continues to impress as his improved shooting has been an asset 16 points on 6/11 FG and 2/4 3FG. The Knights have their MVP played on that exact level scoring game high 37 points and 14 rebounds, Jaylen Baker finished with a double-double of his own 10 points and 12 assists, Ruben Wingate scores 16 points and Shandon James contributed 13 points.
"We just talked about coming in aggressive and hungry, dictate the pace and be active on both ends. We know that KC is a good team with Hawes anchoring this team, we just need to keep the pressure on the defensive end, especially the inside where they are really good at, keep our primary and secondary blockers ready and always be ready to run." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes said on the press conference after the game.
BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13193
The Fireballs have 2 games next sim against winning teams, they will visit Oklahoma (13-11) on Day 53 who is a pleasant surprise this season and then will host Miami (18-6) who defeated them last time they battle in South Beach.