Armor win again behind Darius Johnson-Odom and Adonis Thomas

Chris Marion Photography

The Armor, like their parent club, are on the West Coast and facing the affiliates of teams the Nets will face. On Thursday, the day before the Nets play the Golden State Warriors, the Armor played the Santa Cruz Warriors and came away with a win, their sixth in the last nine games.

With the Nets having freed up a roster spot Wednesday, several of the Armor may be candidates for call-up, particularly the team's big men. If the Nets plan any workouts of Armor players, it shouldn't be difficult. The Armor is staying in San Jose, the Nets in San Francisco.

Once again, it was Darius Johnson-Odom and Adonis Thomas leading the way, this time scoring 49 between them. DJO finished with 28, including three three-pointers, and 12 assists. Thomas, playing more than 45 minutes again, finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Springfield's 6'10" center Willie Reed finished 13 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks. Seth Curry, the brother of Steph, played poorly while guarded by DJO. He shot 3-of-18, including 1-of-9 from three to end with 10 points

Devin Ebanks, the D-League's top forward with averages of 24.1 and 8.9, has yet to join the club on its western swing. At 6'9" (and a Fort Greene, Brooklyn native), Ebanks could get a shot before the season's over.

Johnson-Odom showed no signs of jet lag in the first quarter, tallying nine points, including the final four of the frame, to go along with four assists as the Armor took a 26-24 lead into the second quarter. Springfield struggled from beyond the arc, connecting on just 2-of-7 attempts, but the defense held Santa Cruz to just two shots from deep, both misses. Also in the first quarter, Armor forward Thomas was called for the first technical foul flopping penalty, a rule instituted by the NBA D-League on Wednesday.

Thomas caught fire in the second, leading all scorers in the stanza with eight points to help Springfield extend its lead to five at intermission. Thomas and Johnson-Odom combined for 27 points at the break as the Memphis product led all scorers with 14.

On Santa Cruz’s side, Dominic McGuire was the lone scorer in double figures with 10 points through the first 24 minutes, but the Warriors bench kept the home team close with a 17-5 edge over Springfield’s reserves.

Springfield dominated in the third quarter, outscoring Santa Cruz 29-18 by holding the Warriors to just 29 percent shooting from the field while the Armor offense hit 56 percent of its shots in the period. The big men aided the offensive effort as Jeff Foote and Reed combined for 15 points with Reed grabbing eight boards, seven of which on the defensive glass as Santa Cruz missed 15 shots in the frame.

Three minutes into the fourth quarter and the Warriors finally connected on their first trey of the night, but the Armor continued to keep Santa Cruz in a double figure deficit for most of the frame. The Warriors cut Springfield’s lead into single digits with two minutes to play, but the Armor responded by scoring the final six points of the game to salt away the 14-point win down the final stretch.

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