Dewayne Dedmon logs double-double in win
It was the Dewayne Dedmon show at Kaiser Permanente Arena Friday night as the big man out of USC led the way for the Warriors with yet another superstar performance as the Santa Cruz Warriors (10-6) dismantled the visiting Reno Bighorns (8-8) 95-85 in front of a sellout crowd.
Ranked number three on the NBA Developmental League's prospect-watch list, Dedmon scorched the visiting Reno Bighorns scoring 27 points and grabbing 19 rebounds, both game highs and his tenth double-double in his last 11 games.
"My team gave me a lot of chances to make my shot," said Dedmon. "They had faith in me to shoot it."
K.C. Rivers and Mo Charlo each scored 17 points for the Bighorns in the loss. The Warriors held the Bighorns to 39.2% shooting from the field while the Warriors shot over 45% for themselves.
Dedmon got going early scoring 14 of his points in the first quarter. He had a double-double logged midway through the third quarter of play including an amazing alley-oop layup from the undersized Kiwi Gardner.
"(Dedmon)'s got a spirit about him that allows him to get rebounds like he does," said coach Casey Hill, "It's wonderful for us as coaches to see it."
The Reno Bighorns couldn't miss early as they hit 7-of-9 baskets to open the first quarter as they matched the Warriors bucket-for-bucket in the early part of the contest.
The win comes after the Warriors dropped two consecutive games for the first time this season and also in preparation for the D-League Showcase in Reno next week.
"I needed to win a game or at least play a game so badly," said Hill, "I've been in the worst mood the last four days."
Dedmon looks forward to putting on a show for the executives attending the Showcase next week.
"It definitely helps that I had a game like this to help get my confidence, it's going to be big for us all," said Dedmon.
Hill knows Dedmon is close to another call-up but knows there's still just a little bit of work to be done before a team will take a chance on him.
"If he can develop (his low post game), then bye-bye," said Hill.
After struggling early in the contest, the Sea Dubs responded with a 16-1 run to end the first quarter.
Reno took advantage of the starters sitting for the second quarter as they went on their own 14-to-3 run to cut the lead to 2 points with six minutes left in the half, but Santa Cruz never fell behind and went on a run of its own late in the first half of 17-to-8 to lead 51-40 going into the locker room.
On assignment from Golden State, Nemanja Nedovic scored 7 points on 2-of-9 shooting from the floor. He left the game after the first-half after a missed dunk attempt on the baseline and did not return. The team took extra precautions to prevent any potential for further injury.
The Warriors kept the pressure on in the third quarter, maintaining a double-digit lead while controlling the pace of the game. Gardner scored on an up-and-under as the crowd roared with delight for the fan favorite. Gardner finished with 4 points in just over 12 minutes of play. The Warriors lead going into the fourth quarter 72-57.
Santa Cruz owned the glass as they outrebounded the Bighorns 36-49 as Hilton Armstrong re-joined the team after being waived by Golden State earlier this week. The Bighorns made a late surge going on a 16-to-5 run but couldn't come close enough to threaten late.
The team took sole possession of first place in the West Division after Idaho lost to Rio Grande Valley earlier in the evening.
The recently called-up Seth Curry marked the third-call up this season thus far for the Santa Cruz team."It's great, it's our players are taking advantage of a system we're putting in place," said Coach Hill, "That's why we're here, that's what we're doing this for."