Los Angeles Falters Lost 4 Straight

  • By Jron Magcale, Day 77, 2023

LOS ANGELES - With the recent injuries, the Los Angeles Fireballs are now trying to figure out how to get back into the winning side of the ball. Losing franchise player Chris LaCruz was a huge knock to the Southern California team. Losing 4 straight in the last 2 sims and extending their losing streak to 7 and is 1-9 in their last 10 games setting them dead last in the Pacific Division with 16-21 card.

Tritons Run Down Fireballs winning by 18 points
Tritons - 108
Fireballs - 90

The Tritons came out strong behind Marcus Ivory's 28 points and had 6 players in double figures. The Fireballs came into Oakland without star player Chris LaCruz and starting wing Reggie Coleman. The Tritons dominated the paint scoring 55 points while the Fireballs can't buy a basket inside scoring only 22 points, the bench scoring is also owned by the Tritons as they outscored the Fireballs 42-24. The hapless Fireballs has been trying to look for some spark but failed. Lead by Devan Carroll's 23 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks but also committed 6 turnovers. Jamal Wilkinson was the secondary scorer scoring 16 points, Derrick Aririguzoh contributed a double double 11-10. The Fireballs bench was lead by seldom-used SG Akua Frazier with 13 points in 6/10 in 13 minutes of play.

"It's a tough crowd out here in Oakland, we tried our best to not be too far away but they are just too much for us. We were outmatched obviously and we need to figure things out if we want to get a win while Chris (LaCruz) is out." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes commented after the game.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13318

Thunder Massacred the Fireballs won by 33 points
Thunder - 139
Fireballs - 106

The Fireballs traveled to Seattle battered from the game in Oakland and quickly bows down against a powerhouse Thunder squad. Andre Phifer and Dontay Sowder combined for 63 points and MVP front runner notched a triple double (32 points, 12 rebounds, 11 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks) while Sowder registered 31 points.The Fireballs had a hard time stopping the Thunder from scoring as 7 players registered in double figures. Zach Lynch and Omar Croyle both recorded double-doubles, Lynch - 12 points and 13 assists, Croyle - 18 points and 11 rebounds. The Fireballs had a strong game from Devon Carroll who recorded 31 points, 8 rebounds, 3 blocks, 2 assists and 2 steals. Akua Frazier comes out with another solid production off the bench with 18 points in 16 minutes. The Fireballs never had the chance as the Thunder was dominating from start to finish.

"They are a juggernaut of a team. We didn't have a chance if we're not complete. They just have more options than us. We tried our hardest but they were just automatic, big game from Dre' (Phifer) and Sowder was also clicking. We'll just have to still figure things out." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes said on the presser.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13332

'Jacks Big 2nd Half Silenced Fireballs
Fireballs - 119
Lumberjacks - 110

On the latter part of a brutal back-to-back for Los Angeles they faced a solid and well-balanced Portland Lumbejacks team that is determined to win in LA. The 'Jacks have 7 players in double figures lead by Star Center Akiem Martin's double-double 24 points and 12 rebounds followed by star veteran Demetric Vaugh who scored 19 points being flawless from the outside 3/3. Fireballs was again lead by Devan Carroll who is playing the alpha eversince LaCruz went down with an injury, scoring 28 points and grabbing 7 rebounds but was in foul trouble with 5 fouls. Jamal Wilkinson had a good outing with 18 points and 5 rebounds. The Jacks big 3rd quarter catapulted them with the win limiting the Fireballs to only 19 points in that period and scoring 24 points.

Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes spoke after the game: "We had a chance but that 3rd quarter we just struggled. The guys played their hearts out and that is all I can ever ask for. We just came from a big lost in Thunder and we are still trying to cope up with the new lineup and the rotation. We'll figure it out eventually."

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13344

Fireballs Fought Tooth and Nail vs Thunder, Lost by 1 point
Fireballs - 102
Thunder - 103

The still injured Fireballs hosted the Thunder who traveled to L.A. with star player Andre Phifer not dressed for the game gave the Fireballs a fighting chance to grab a win at home but still can't close. Seattle had a huge contribution from Ainsley Tucker 24 points and 13 rebounds and also from Dontay Sowder 27 points and 9 rebounds. Fireballs center Derrick "Guzo" Aririguzoh had a career day with 19 points, 19 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 assists and 1 steal. Carroll is in his usual all-around self also contributing a double-double 13 points and 11 rebounds, off the bench rookie Kareem Teague scored 15 points as well. It was a better game for the Fireballs despite the lose as their scoring was spread and their interior defense was on point blocking 14 shots. But the Thunder was the stronger team even without Phifer, down the stretch the Fireballs took the lead with 3:30 remaining but the Thunder established a footing with less than 2 minutes remaining. The Fireballs tried to come back but it was too late, the Thunder escaped LA with a 1 point win.

"That was a tough lose for us, we had a chance but our late game strategy didn't pan out we are missing a closer. The guys played well, we weren't able to take advantage of Dre resting. We have to be much more aggressive down that 2 minute mark and we need to adjust." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes said at the post-game interview.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13359

The good news is that Chris LaCruz will be activated next game against the Jaguars (21-15) at home on Day 77 and after that they will face the Renegades (16-22) on Day 79. The team hopes to end the losing streak in the coming sim.