Thanks to 28 first quarter points, the Bakersfield Jam escape out of Des Moines with a win that put the home team Iowa Energy in flux with two games to go in the NBA D-League playoff race.
Bakersfield's 90-87 win gives them a little insurance in the playoff picture, but to Iowa Head Coach Kevin Young, he feels his team isn't necessarily in trouble, but the first half play is what played into them getting their 23rd loss of the season.
"Our first half effort is what took us back tonight," Young said. "I don't necessarily think we put ourselves back in the playoff push right now."
Iowa shot 41 percent from the floor, but the main difference in the game was their shooting from behind the arc -- 5-for-19.
"It wasn't just our 3-point shooting that hurt us tonight," Young said. "Sometimes those shots don't go down, and tonight, they didn't."
Mike Efevberha ended up with 33 points and 11 made field goals, but it took him many shots to get to that mark. Efevberha went 11-for-23 from the floor and 3-for-7 from deep.
"The guys have enough trust in me to score," Efevberha said. "I just felt like every shot was going in. Some did, some didn't."
Bakersfield had similar shooting statistics (43 percent total) but found their hand from deep, going 8-for14 from three-point territory.
Jeremy Wise went 8-for-9 from the floor while also 3-for-3 totaling out for 22 points for the Jam.
"Wise is a great player," Moses Ehambe said. "He hit some tough shots and all we could do is limit him, but he played a very good game."
Ehambe had 11 points in 30 minutes of play.
Iowa moves on to play Sioux Falls on Friday, where it's a make-or-break type of game for them in terms of the playoff picture.
"Sioux Falls has that ability to be a spoiler team now that they're out," Efevberha said. "And because of that, we can't let our guard down."