Los Angeles 2-0 Sim, Defeats Tritons and Lightning

  • By Jron Magcale, Day 97, 2023

LOS ANGELES - The Fireballs finally hit .500 mark after they went 2-0 in the last sim. The Fireballs have won 7 out of their last 10 games and is 8-3 since LaCruz came back from the injury. They defended the forum against the visiting division rival Oakland Tritons and beat the Lightning in Houston.

Fireballs Triumphant in Houston
Lightning - 109
Fireballs - 114

Los Angeles is looking for answers after taking a beating in Mexico City. The team knows that this Houston trip is a must win event for them and that is what they did. After falling behind in the 1st quarter 34-25 behind the strong Houston attack, the Fireballs went on and defended well in the 2nd quarter limiting the Lightning to 16 points and scoring 27 points of their own taking the lead at the end of 2 quarters 50-52, the 3rd quarter was a shootout but the Fireballs came with heavy fire than the Lightning outscoring the Lightning 40-31 ending the 3rd quarter 92-81 Fireballs lead. The Lightning had a chance in the 4th quarter as they were able to build a run as they stole the lead with 2:37 left with a score of 104-101 but with less than a minute left the Fireballs again stepped on the gas and took the lead 54" remaining 110-109 then outscored the Lightning the rest of the game 114-109. The Fireballs relied on their outside shooting sinking 15-36 3FG while the Lightning only converting 9-21. The Fireballs bench was also key as they outscored the Lightning 31-21 as well.

Fireballs was lead by Chris LaCruz' 27 points, 7 assists and 4 rebounds, Reggie Coleman had 24 points and was 6/10 from the outside. Akua Frazier off the bench was efficient 15 points on 5/7 FG, 2/4 3FG and 3/3 FT. Center Derrick Aririguzoh was effective as well as he registered a double-double 14 points and 11 rebounds. Antoine Hall and Pace LaGarde both notched 24 points for the Lightning while Kierall Richardson scored 16 points. Stephan Hood notched a double-double with 10 points and 14 assists.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13504

Fireballs Escapes Tritons Late Run, Wins by 2
Fireballs -110
Tritons - 108

The Fireballs went to work early as they scores 32 points in the 1st quarter and then 38 in the 2nd quarter to push the Tritons chasing the whole game (Tritons scored 23, 39 respectively). The Fireballs ended the 1st half with 70-62 lead. The 3rd quarter was a game of defense as the Fireballs was limited to only 21 points but they did their fair share of D as they held the Tritons to 18, however when the 4th quarter kicks in the Tritons was able to put together an impressive run and defended the Fireballs fiery scoring as they clamped down the hot Fireballs to just 19 points and scored 28 points of their own to cut the lead significantly, but it wasn't enough as the Fireballs escaped the Tritons run. The Fireballs was making their outside shots as they knocked 14-33 while the Tritons whom are inside heavy connected only 7-36. The Tritons owned the paint 60-30, but the early Fireballs run was too much for the Tritons to recover from.

Fireballs star PG Chris LaCruz lead the way with 36 points, 8 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 1 block effectively attacking the basketball, Devan Carroll was the secondary scorer notching 27 points (11/18 FG, 3/5 3FG) 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists and a block. Reggie Coleman was in hitman mode knocking 6/12 3FG on his way to 23 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists. Marcus Ivory lead the Tritons with 39 points and 9 rebounds while Antoine Peeler had a good all-around game 19 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 2 steals but struggled from the outside 1/7 3FG. 3 players from their bench notched double figures Alonzo Traylor 13 points and 14 rebounds while Nikica Jankovic and Shaun Williams both contributed 10 points each.

"We knew from the gate that we need to come out strong in the 1st half, we can't just be pacing and all because the Tritons will make a run regardless. We're fortunate enough to build a lead in the 1st quarter and we just needed to hold onto it. They had a great 4th quarter and we just need to keep the lead afloat and that is what we did, we still need to do better finishing games and there are still adjustments to be made." Assistant Coach Alton Wilkes said after the game.

BOX SCORE: http://jblfl.com/boxscore?game=13519

The Fireballs will face the Austin Rockets (18-28) at home on Day 99, their only game next sim. After that they will have 2 more home games against Las Vegas Scorpions (32-16) and Philadelphia Warriors (37-11) on days 102 and 104 respectively.