July 16, 2017
Big second half helps Slam get back on track with 104-86 win
For the second straight game, the Bellingham Slam required a big second half effort as they came from behind to defeat Ball Is Life, 104-86, in Seattle Pro-Am action at Royal Brougham Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.
Unlike in Saturday's two-point defeat, the Slam's comeback on Sunday came earlier and erased a much more manageable deficit.
Things appeared to be trending poorly for Bellingham in the second quarter after Ball Is Life guard Benny Bridges sank a trio of three-pointers to help his team build a 14-point advantage over the Slam in the middle stages of the period. Ball Is Life maintained the lead at halftime, 52-43.
The Slam slowly chipped away at Ball Is Life's lead throughout much of the third quarter, but ratcheted up the pace late in the frame thanks to a barrage of long-range shots. The Slam sank five three-pointers in the period's final three minutes, with three from forward Jordan Hamilton, closing with a 17-2 run as they erased all of the deficit and took a 76-65 lead into the fourth quarter.
Bellingham kept up the pressure in the fourth using strong play from forward Mike Palm. Palm sank a turnaround jumper followed by a three-pointer on the next possession to give the Slam a 91-76 lead. The Slam build their advantage as high as 21 thanks to back-to-back triples from guard Taylor Stafford and center Anye Turner.
In the end, the Slam had outscored Ball is Life 61-34 in the second half, including a 33-13 mark in the third quarter.
Stafford led the Slam's scoring effort with 23 points, including six three-pointers. Center Austin Bragg led a pack of four other players to score in double figures with 14 points. Guard Trazil Lane, who started for the first time at the Pro-Am, finished with 10. Palm, who was playing his final game this summer for Bellingham before returning to Sweden, finished with eight points and team-high nine rebounds.
Bridges led Ball Is Life with 24 points, but was held scoreless by the Slam defense in the second half. Center Matt Nelson posted a double-double with 14 points and 12 boards.
The Slam now gets nearly two weeks off before their next Pro-Am action. They will face the Tacoma Thunder on Saturday, July 29 at 3 p.m. at Seattle Pacific University's Royal Brougham Pavilion.