The Santa Cruz Warriors rode the Chris Johnson wave to a 113-101 win over the visiting Springfield Armor.
The Warriors jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and saw their lead balloon to as much as 18 early in the fourth quarter. However, the Armor would fight their way back throughout the game and cut the lead down to six points at half time behind the three point shot, shooting 55.6 percent from beyond the arc in the game.
Even with the Armor's resurgence, the Warriors continued to impose their will in the paint, where they scored 60 of their 113 points. Jeremy Tyler and the man of the night Chris Johnson were at the head of the domination.
Tyler recorded yet another double-double for the Warriors while on assignment from the Golden State Warriors. Johnson, who played just his fourth game with the Warriors, had a breakout night with a game high 24 points.
“My teammates just made it really easy for me tonight offensively,” said Johnson. “You look at it and they just hit me in the right spots.”
The Warriors also showed why they are one of the best defensive teams in the D-League holding the Armor to just 43.2 percent from the field and forcing them into 21 turnovers. Yet, even with a good showing in the box score, head coach Nate Bjorkgren believes that there is room for improvement.
“I think that for a few possessions we didn’t finish our defense. Whether it was finishing with a rebound or fisnishing with a challanged shot.”
Things got a little chippy coming out of halftime when Jeremy Tyler and Shawn Taggart received double technicals for getting knotted up.
"Sometimes things can get out of hand and emotions get involved," said Tyler. "I don't think it got the best of me I was definitely holding my composure."
The Win was their third in a row and now they stand at 7-2 and have the best record in the D-League. They'll be back in action on Friday December 28 against the Armor in the second contest of their two-game series.