Lakeland down Zamalek for third place, first win for G League team
CAIRO (Egypt) - Lakeland Magic made history on Sunday when they defeated host side Zamalek 113-78 to collect third place at the 2022 FIBA Intercontinental Cup and secure the first win for an NBA G League team in the competition.
Lakeland doused the hopes of the Basketball Africa League champions Zamalek becoming the first African club to win a game in the competition's history - at the same time that the event was being held on African soil for the first time.
Turning point: In front of the hopeful fans at Cairo's Hassan Moustafa Sports Hall, Lakeland started pulling away in the first quarter and opened a 13-point lead. The gap was down to six before Devin Cannady hit a three-pointer just before the first quarter buzzer. Jeff Dowtin and Hassani Gravett then combined for 12 points in a 17-7 start to the second quarter for a 50-28 lead. Zamalek could not get closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
Game hero: Five Lakeland players scored at least 16 points, but Dowtin was the real killer for Lakeland as he collected a double-double of 21 points and 11 assists to go with 5 rebounds and 1 steal for an efficiency of 33. Gravett poured in 22 points, Cannady and Aleem Ford both chipped in 18 points.
Stats don't lie: Lakeland did not let the Egyptian side get anything going as the home side connected on just 42 percent from the field. The G-League club also buried 19 three-pointers while committing only 7 turnovers.
Bottom line: The 2021 G League champions Lakeland accomplished what the previous two winners could not: win a game at the FIBA Intercontinental Cup. The 2018 G-League champions Austin Spurs lost both games at the 2019 global spectacle and 2019 winners Rio Grande Valley Vipers dropped their two games at the 2020 Intercontinental Cup.