SANTA CRUZ, CA – Bryce Cotton poured in 40 points to help fuel the Austin Spurs’ (16-7) 18-point second half comeback over the Canton Charge (13-11) in a 102-94 victory at the 2015 NBA D-League Showcase presented by Samsung on Saturday night.
Canton used defensive pressure to limit Austin to just 6-of-24 shooting in the first (25%) and pull ahead by as many as 10. Brandon Paul led his team’s offensive attack with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting in the opening quarter, and the Charge held a 27-19 advantage heading into the second.
With Canton leading 46-29 with 3:43 left in the second, the Spurs pushed back to close out the half on a 10-4 run, fueled by eight points from Bryce Cotton. The Charge outscored Austin 34-8 in the paint in the first 24 minutes of the game, and maintained a 52-41 lead at the break.
Canton continued to stay ahead throughout the early stages of the third quarter, maximizing their advantage to 69-51 after rolling off a 12-0 run by scoring on six consecutive possessions with corresponding stops over a span of 2:23. With 6:45 left in the period, the Spurs used their defense as a catalyst to get back in the game. Austin forced four turnovers and eight Canton misses on nine shots the rest of the way, while Cotton scored 10 points in a 22-5 run to pull within 74-73 heading into the fourth.
Cotton’s hot hand continued to guide the Spurs, as he netted his team’s first 10 points of the fourth quarter to spark a 15-6 run to complete Austin’s comeback in which they led by multiple possessions the rest of the way. The Spurs ultimately outscored the Charge 61-42 in the second half, with Cotton providing 25 of the points on 5-of-7 three-point shooting. Austin’s victory gave them the 2-0 sweep in the regular season series between the two teams.
Canton’s Arinze Onuaku increased his double-double streak to 10-straight games with his 18 points and season-high 20 boards to go along with two blocks in 38 minutes. Paul finished with 24 points and three blocks in 35 minutes. Jorge Gutierrez added 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and five steals in 32 minutes. Michael Dunigan scored 13 points with nine rebounds and three blocks in 39 minutes. The Charge’s 11 team blocks were a new season-high.
Cotton finished with 40 points on 8-of-12 three-point shooting with 11 rebounds in 43 minutes of action. Josh Davis added a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards with four steals in 38 minutes. Jarell Eddie hit 5-of-9 triples for 15 points in 27 minutes for Austin.