The Los Angeles D-Fenders (29-11) fell to the Raptors 905 (31-9) on Saturday at the Toyota Sports Center, 111-104, in a battle of the league’s two conference leaders.
Travis Wear (24 points, 10 rebounds) notched his sixth double-double of the year. Meanwhile, Vander Blue (23 points, five rebounds, six assists) and Lakers assignee David Nwaba (20 points, four rebounds) also hit the 20-point mark on the evening. Point guard Josh Magette scored only two points but also contributed 12 assists, four rebounds and two steals to add to the team’s effort.
The 905 had a trio of players that scored a team-leading 16 points in Toronto Raptors assignee Bruno Caboclo, Edy Tavares and Antwaine Wiggins. Yanick Moreira contributed a double-double by scoring 14 points to go along with 11 rebounds for the 905. Overall, eight of the team’s players finished with more than 10 points.
The first quarter included six ties as each team fought for control, but the Raptors were sparked by 11 points from Caboclo that gave them a 33-28 edge through one quarter of play. In the second, the 905 went up by as much as 18 points, their biggest lead of the game, as the D-Fenders connected on just 16.7 percent of their long-range attempts in the quarter. At the half, Los Angeles trailed, 64-48.
The visitors led by double digits throughout the third quarter, before L.A. put together its best comeback effort in the fourth. Behind eight points from Blue and seven from Nwaba, the D-Fenders cut a 16-point Raptors lead into a two-possession game with less than a minute remaining. Trailing by five with 30 seconds on the clock, Raptors 905 took advantage of foul-induced free throws to take the win.
On the day, the D-Fenders shot .488 from the floor, compared with a .512 mark for the 905. The 905 owned the glass, pulling down 45 rebounds to L.A.’s 33. Los Angeles never held a lead in the contest.