Ignite’s playoff hopes in the 2021 G League Season are now on the brink after bowing to also-ran Agua Caliente, 111-116, Thursday morning (Manila time) at AdventHealth Arena.
Though dropping 20 points, Jalen Green went just 7-of-17 from the field. The Fil-Am stud still had six rebounds, five assists, and two steals.
It was a sorry loss for Ignite as it dropped to a tie for eighth in the standings. Both the developmental team and Rio Grande are knotted with 7-6 slates.
For the second game in a row, Ignite’s veterans kept the team within striking distance in the opening stretch. Brandon Ashley scored the first six Ignite points; meanwhile, Bobby Brown reached double figures for the second time this season with his 11 first-half points after shooting 5-9. Ignite’s rookies had just 13 points, with seven from Green, four from Isaiah Todd, and two from Daishen Nix.
Coffey shot 50-percent from downtown in the first half and the Clippers connected on eight triples. Agua Caliente led by double figures for most of the second quarter, but back-to-back three-pointers by Green and Reggie Hearn near the final minute trimmed the Clipper lead to eight points for a 53-45 halftime score.
Ignite’s rookies returned to score 20 of the team’s 30 third-quarter points, with Todd leading the charge with eight points. Jonathan Kuminga got on the board with five points, and the Clippers led by just five entering the final quarter.
After just one lead change through the first three quarters, the fourth quarter saw eight lead changes and three ties as the teams wrestled for control. Ashley scored 10 points in the quarter as he and Green both turned in crucial three-pointers down the stretch. Both teams scored 36 points in the quarter, leaving Agua Caliente with the win to rise to a 4-9 slate.
Ashley poured in a season-high 26 points and added nine rebounds, three steals, two assists, and a block, while Isaiah Todd provided a spark in the second half to finish with 14 points, six rebounds, and three steals. Daishen Nix added 10 points and six assists and Jonathan Kuminga chipped in seven points and five rebounds.
Jordan Ford led the Clippers with 22 points and five assists and Amir Coffey finished with 21 points plus six assists. The duo was among six players to score in double figures as the Clippers combined for 15 three-pointers.
Ignite faces Rio Grande in its penultimate game of the regular season on Friday.