July 9, 2017
Stafford nets triple-double as Slam stays undefeated
Guard Taylor Stafford earned his first career triple-double as the Bellingham Slam picked up a third straight win to stay undefeated in the Seattle Pro-Am league, 131-102, over Team N.F.A. on Sunday afternoon at Royal Brougham Pavilion.
Stafford, who kept up his strong play from Saturday with 22 points in the first half, finished with 38 points, 10 boards and 10 assists.
While Stafford and the Slam were once again showcasing strong team play at the Pro-Am, accumulating 37 assists as a group, veteran NBA center Spencer Hawes put on a great individual effort for Team N.F.A, posting game-highs of 48 points and 14 rebounds.
In a game in which they never trailed, the Slam burst out to an early double-digit lead, at 17-7, on a three-pointer by forward Jordan Hamilton less than four minutes in.
Bellingham ballooned its advantage to 25 at halftime after forward Austin Bragg and guard Paul Hafford combined to force a mid-court steal before Hafford hurried a buzzer-beating lay-in to make the score 71-46.
A three-pointer by Stafford followed by a dunk from Bragg late in the third quarter expanded the Slam's lead to 30, at 99-69.
Team N.F.A. finally pushed back in the fourth quarter, barely, as they were only able to trim the deficit into the low twenties at several points.
Stafford's effort headlined a Slam team in which every available player scored. Six others scored in double figures, with forward Tyler Amaya tallying 20 points and guard Morris Anderson finishing with 17.
Hawes, who accounted for nearly half of Team N.F.A.'s total offense, only had two other players score in double figures -- guard Brandon Gibson with 14 points and forward Jordan Skipper-Brown with 10.
The Slam returns to action at the Seattle Pro-Am with a pair of games next weekend. Tip-off on Saturday is set for 4:30pm at Seattle Pacific University's Royal Brougham Pavilion.