Coming off the back of their first week in the bubble, G League Ignite sat at a perfect 3-0. Through week one, Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green lead the way. Whilst continuing to show the world that they are two of the best players in the upcoming 2021 NBA Draft.
So what did week two have in store for Ignite?
Vs Iowa Wolves, 97-90 (W):
Jalen Green poured in a career-high 22 points to extend G League Ignite’s win streak to four after topping the Iowa Wolves, 97-90. Green’s balanced stat-line also included new career highs in assists (5) and rebounds (6). It was also his third consecutive 20-point outing.
Donta Hall tallied his first double-double of the season, with 12 points and 16 rebounds. Along with 3 assists and 4 blocks. Fellow veterans Jessie Govan (10 points) and Jarrett Jack (12 points) also reached double figures.
Neither team held the edge in the first half. Both shooting near the 40% mark and connecting on 17 field goals Ignite headed to halftime with a 4-point lead, 47-43, thanks to a perfect 5-5 performance at the free-throw line.
Green, who scored only 3 of his 21 points in the first half in the game prior, led all scorers with 13 points. Govan had 10 points off the bench. Although Green added another 8 points to his total in the third quarter, the Wolves outscored Ignite 31-20 to pull ahead, 74-67.
Iowa continued its charge, jumping out to an 11-point lead, 78-67, at 10:51 in the fourth quarter. But after Jack brought Ignite back within two points, 85-83 at 5:12, the rookies went to work, scoring 10 of Ignite’s final 14 points. This was led by Daishen Nix’s 5 points. Ignite outscored Iowa 30-16 in the final 12 minutes to claim victory.
Vs Erie BayHawks, 127-87 (L):
A wake-up call awaited the G League Ignite team, as they came up against the explosive Erie Bayhawks. After flying high to this point, Ignite got a punch in the mouth and respectfully, they were never in the game.
Jonathan Kuminga and Daishen Nix tallied their first career double-doubles in the loss. Kuminga scored 21 points and added a career-best 10 boards, with Nix putting up 13 points and a game-high 11 rebounds off the bench.
Jalen Green also finished with 13 points, alongside 4 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block. While fellow rookie Princepal Singh made his debut by pulling down 2 rebounds.
Naji Marshall led the Bayhawks with 21 points as one of six Erie players to score in double figures. The G League’s top offensive team shot 53.8 percent from the floor and scored 36 points off Ignite’s 20 turnovers.
The BayHawks jumped out to a 21-point lead in the first quarter, capitalizing on 5 turnovers and connecting on 5 treys, while Ignite shot 0-7 from 3-point range. Erie led 35-16 after the first 12 minutes and continued their charge for the remainder of the half. They racked up 11 steals and shot 51.9% (28-54) to lead by as many as 30 points, for a 66-37 halftime score.
Kuminga, who had 15 points and 6 rebounds by halftime, was the lone Ignite player to connect on a 3-pointer. Meanwhile, 3 Erie players had reached double figures, paced by 13 points apiece from Marshall and Caleb Homesley. Plus 10 points and 8 rebounds from Jordan Bell.
The Bayhawks stretched their lead to 96-60 after the third and saw out the game with a dominant 127-87 victory. A humbling experience for the young Ignite team.
G League Ignite looked to rebound in its second game of a back-to-back. Their next opponent would be the Westchester Knicks.
Vs Westchester Knicks, 121-113 (L):
Ignite matched its season-best scoring total, set a season-high in assists and a season-low turnover totals, but the team effort wasn’t enough in this one. With the Knicks outscoring Ignite 11-3 in overtime to win 121-113.
Ignite showed improvement with a season-low 13 turnovers and season-high 27 assists, and every player who entered the game scored at least 5 points. Donta Hall scored 12 points in the second half to lead Ignite with 19 points, adding 10 rebounds for a double-double.
Isaiah Todd matched his career-high with 14 points and 7 rebounds. With Jalen Green (15 points), Amir Johnson (11), and Jonathan Kuminga (11) also scoring in double figures. Green added a career-best 6 assists. while Jarrett Jack dished out a season-high 9 assists.
Ignas Brazdeikis, who entered the matchup averaging 24 points per game, poured in 21 points. Six Knicks players scored 15 points or more. Louis King scored 9 of his 18 points in overtime, going 3-3 from beyond the arc, to seal the victory.
Ignite’s effort saw 8 players score before the end of the first quarter. With Bobby Brown, Johnson, and Todd each notched a team-best 6 points apiece. The team’s 37-33 lead matched its most points in a quarter this season.
By halftime Ignite also matched its highest point total for a single half, leading the Knicks 66-59. Green, who was scoreless in the first quarter, churned out 12 points in the second. Kuminga also reached double figures with 10 points. After averaging 21.6 turnovers per game through the first five games, Ignite chalked up only seven in the first half.
Despite a flurry of small runs by Ignite in the third quarter, the Knicks outscored their opponents 28-22 and contained Green to pull within a single point, 88-87. Westchester made up the difference in the fourth quarter, 23-22, to send the game into overtime, 110-110.
King hit 3 consecutive from beyond the arc to put the game away in 2 additional minutes, 121-113. After 6 games in 9 days, Ignite enjoyed their longest break of the regular season with 2 full days of rest. This was before taking on the Greensboro Swarm on Sunday.
Vs Greensboro Swarm, 122-109 (W):
Following back-to-back losses against the Erie BayHawks and Westchester Knicks, G League Ignite got back on track thanks to a 23-point effort from Isaiah Todd. The team surged past the Swarm, 122-109, to improve to 5-2.
Todd, who turned in a career-high 14-point performance in his last outing against the Knicks, poured in 23 points and 3 rebounds in this one. Amir Johnson tallied a season-high 18 points and also added 3 rebounds and a block. While Daishen Nix dished out a career-best 13 assists and pulled down 7 rebounds.
The trio helped Ignite to season-best totals in assists (34), field goals (49), and field goal shooting (52.7%). A trio of Swarm standouts finished with double-doubles, however. Kobi Simmons had a game-high 27 points and 10 assists, Nick Richards had 26 points and 10 rebounds off the bench, and Vernon Carey Jr. dropped in 15 points and 10 rebounds.
Ignite dug itself into a deficit late in the first quarter, but outscored the Swarm 6-2 in the final two minutes to make it a two-point game, 35-33. Todd had 6 points and quickly reached double figures early in the second quarter, including a standout dunk and 3-pointer.
By halftime, Todd was one of two Ignite players with 11 points, tied with Jonathan Kuminga, as the team shot 56.5% to lead 63-60. Ignite then used a 26-18 third quarter, which included 11 points by Johnson, to pull away and the Swarm couldn’t recover.
Todd finished strong with 12 second-half points and Nix dished out 10 of his 13 assists in the half. Kuminga finished with 18 points and 2 assists, and Green extended his double figure scoring streak to 7 games.
Green tallied 17 points to go along with 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Veterans Brandon Ashley (11 points) and Jessie Govan (12) also finished in double figures.
It was an up-and-down week for G League Ignite. They dealt with adversity losing back-to-back games, and returned to finish the week strong.
While Jonathan Kuminga and Jalen Green have been the undeniable stars for Ignite so far, we’re seeing the emergence of Daishen Nix and Isaiah Todd. Both are players that will make some serious noise at the NBA level.
Nix and Todd are making plays that will help them being considered lottery talents. With a strong upcoming couple of weeks, they could solidify their place as elite NBA prospects.
With G League Ignite showing marked improvement in terms of turnovers and assists this week, it will be interesting to see if they can continue to step it up in other areas. All eyes are if they can continue to make noise in the G League bubble in Disney World, Orlando.
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