Week 3 of the G League bubble in Disney World, Orlando has come to an end. It was another up-and-down week for G League Ignite, in many ways.
Wins, losses, and the exit of a few members of the team, Ignite finished the week 2-2. They moved onto a 7-4 record, which has them firmly in the playoff hunt.
Vs Long Island Nets, 109-97 (L):
A double-double from Donta Hall and 21 points from Jalen Green couldn’t combat a 23-turnover game, as the team fell to the Long Island Nets, 109-97.
Green notched his fourth 20-point outing of the season. Hall turned in his third double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds. But the Nets scored 28 points off 23 Ignite turnovers for their third win of the season.
Brandon Ashley scored 16 points, just one point shy of his season-high, and Jonathan Kuminga added 10. As a team, Ignite shot 43.8%, with a season-low 35 field goals (35-80).
The Nets used a 24-20 first quarter to edge Ignite with 7 points apiece from Johnson and Perry. Isaiah Todd, who entered Monday’s match-up averaging 18.5 points in his last two appearances, was off to a hot start with 6 points of his own. This was despite Ignite shooting 33.3% (7-21) to open the game.
Green scored 9 points and Ignite shot 66.7 percent (10-15) in the fourth quarter. Ignite’s comeback attempt fell short as Long Island scored 11 points off Ignite’s eight fourth-quarter turnovers, outscoring the team 31-28.
Vs Memphis Hustle, 104-101 (W):
Down 11 points at halftime, G League Ignite rallied back for comeback win against the Memphis Hustle. The team relied on veteran play and a stalwart defense down the stretch to hold off Memphis, 104-101.
Jarrett Jack scored 13 of his game-high 22 points in the second half. The NBA veteran iced the game with a pair of crucial free throws with 3 seconds remaining. He was one of 7 Ignite players to finish in double figures. Jonathan Kuminga (17), Brandon Ashley (11), Daishen Nix (11), Isaiah Todd (10), Bobby Brown (10), and Jalen Green (10), being the others.
Bennie Boatwright scored 21 points on 7-15 shooting, including 5-13 from downtown, to lead the Hustle. Tyrell Terry added 19 points, plus 14 from Jontay Porter, 11 from Shaq Buchanan, and 10 from Ahmad Caver.
Neither team led by more than five points in the final stretch, and Terry’s driving layup with 35 seconds remaining made it a one-point game in Ignite’s favor, 102-101.
With 12.2 seconds remaining, Ignite was awarded with an out-of-bounds ball, Memphis issued a coach’s challenge and the call was overturned. Ignite’s defense held strong, forcing Memphis to foul, sending Jack to the line to put Ignite up 104-101 with 3.3 seconds on the clock.
Vs Salt Lake City Stars, 107-87 (L):
Jalen Green notched a career-high 24 points but G League Ignite fell to the Salt Lake City Stars, 107-87, in this one. Ignite shot a season-low 39.7% (29-73) and gave up 42 second-quarter points to the Stars, the most by any opponent this season.
In his first start for Ignite, Govan recorded 13 points, a first-half game-high, with three rebounds. It wasn’t enough to help Ignite withstand nine 3-pointers from the Stars, however. Salt Lake City shot 47.4% (9-19) from downtown and 55.3 percent (26-47) overall in the first half.
The Stars led by as many as 20 points, outscoring Ignite 42-27 in the second, to lead 65-47 at halftime. Ignite held Salt Lake City to 16 points in the third quarter, tied for the fewest by an opponent this year, to trim the lead to 81-68 entering the final 12 minutes.
The team connected on just 5 of 15 field goal attempts in the fourth quarter to confirm defeat. Green scored 14 of Ignite’s 40 second-half points.
Vs Canton Charge, 113-112 (L):
Isaiah Todd drained a buzzer-beater to hold off the Canton Charge, 113-112 in the final game of the week. Down 112-111 with 4.9 seconds remaining after a pull-up jumper by Canton’s Brodric Thomas, Ignite Head Coach Brian Shaw called a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Todd set up for a turnaround bank shot that lifted his team to its 7th victory of the season. Ignite improved to 7-4, firmly in the driving seat for a playoff birth.
Todd finished with 17 points and matched his career-high 7 rebounds. Plus a career-high 3 blocks and two assists. After pouring in a career-high 24 points against Salt Lake City on Friday, Jalen Green upped his best to 26 points.
In another efficient performance, Green shot 9-14, including a 6-8 clip from 3-point range. Jonathan Kuminga notched his 3rd double-double of the season, with 20 points and 13 rebounds.
Ignite churned out 40 points in the second, the most in a single quarter all season, helped by 9 points from Johnson, 8 from Jack, and 7 from Kuminga. Daishen Nix dished out 7 assists across the 12-minute stretch, and Ignite’s defense allowed Canton just two 3-pointers.
The Charge’s fourth-quarter comeback effort saw them level the contest, 109-109, with 2:50 to go, helped by an 11-0 run. Mac scored 9 of Canton’s 11 points in that span. But G League Ignite snatched victory, thanks for Isaiah Todd’s buzzer-beater heroics.
Week 3 in Summary:
Once again another up and down week for G League Ignite, as they finish the week 2-2. The consistent effort issues that plagued the Ignite team last week have continued on. This is to be expected from such young players. The level of play is new to them and the adjustment period right now will serve them incredibly well in the future.
This team as a whole is ironing out the weaknesses on the fly and they are consistently improving as a unit. Head Coach Brian Shaw continues to put his team in the best position to be successful. With Donta Hall receiving a call up to the NBA, and Kai Sotto no longer a part of the team, the young players will have to continue to battle against adversity. Which once again will prepare them for the next level.
A serious amount of credit needs to be given to Coach Shaw and the Ignite set up for putting these young players in the best position to fully understand what will be expected of them at the NBA level.
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