July 29, 2017
Shorthanded Slam falls in nail-biter to Tacoma Thunder, 104-102
A depleted Bellingham Slam squad received a triple-double effort from forward Tyler Amaya but fell to the Tacoma Thunder, 104-102, in a back-and-forth Seattle Pro-Am league game on Saturday at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
Despite missing three of their post players, the Slam battled hard and even held a late lead before succumbing to a final charge by the Thunder.
Trailing 58-48 at haltime, Bellingham pushed back in the third quarter to make it a competitive contest. Guard Trazil Lane scored back-to-back buckets to cut the deficit to five, at 71-66 six minutes in, and guard Taylor Stafford ended the period by beating the clock with a finger roll to trim Tacoma's lead to just one, at 79-78.
The fourth quarter was largely a back-and-forth affair before the Slam built up a six-point lead with three minutes to play, at 96-90, on a three-pointer from guard Paul Hafford. But the Thunder responded with a late run, erasing the Slam's advantage over the next three minutes, and ultimately took the lead back on a three from guard Corey Sweet, his only triple of the game, with four seconds left.
The Slam, which fell to 4-2 on the season, got a clean look at a potential game-winning three-pointer off an inbounds play but it was just short, and a put-back attempt that would have tied the game also failed.
Amaya's triple-double came by way of 15 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists, while Stafford was the game's leading scorer with 34 points, including five three-pointers. Lane, who was recently nominated for the 2017 National Native American Player of the Year award, finished with 16 points and seven rebounds in his best game to date with the Slam.
Center Kai Sherman led five Tacoma players in double figures with 22 points.
The Slam will look to return to winning form on Sunday as they face Jamal Crawford and Team Adidas as Seattle Pro-Am action continues. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. at Seattle Pacific University's Royal Brougham Pavilion.