Lakeland Magic back to .500 after wins over Mexico City

Lakeland's Jay Scrubb attempts a shot vs. the Mexico City Capitanes on Saturday. Lakeland would go on to dominate 128-103.
Lakeland's Jay Scrubb attempts a shot vs. the Mexico City Capitanes on Saturday. Lakeland would go on to dominate 128-103.

Lakeland’s area G League affiliate catapulted back to .500 thanks to a blowout win over the Mexico City Capitanes Saturday at the RP Funding Center.

The Orlando Magic affiliate blew out the Capitanes 128-103 behind the effort of guard Joel Ayayi, who put up a game-high 22 points and six rebounds. Guard Drake Jefferies produced 20 points, while guard Jay Scrubb tallied a double-double: 21 points and 10 rebounds.

The game immediately got out of hand when Scrubb scored 11 first-quarter points. Ayayi finished the first half with 14 points to put the Magic up 65-57.

There wasn’t much difference in the second half. Lakeland scored the first seven points, eventually winning the third quarter 36-12.

In the fourth, Jeffries splashed four 3s, and Ayayi added another eight points in the second half.

“The main key for the team is to remain consistent,” Ayayi said. “We played great defense and took great shots.”

Lakeland (5-5) will next face the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 8:30 p.m., Dec. 3 at the Bert Ogden Arena.

Magic up and down heading into latest victory

On Nov. 15, the Magic survived the Birmingham Squadron, winning 131-128.

Thanks to a three-pointer by Jefferies, Lakeland took the lead early in the fourth, which was the first time since the 32-second mark at the start of the game.

Scrubb scored a career-high 38, while Jefferies registered 24 points. Forward Jemerrio Jones notched a triple-double with 19 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

“The win is what matters; I wasn’t thinking about a career-high at all,” Scrubb said. “At halftime we knew they gave us their best punch. We had to stay focused and execute our game plan.”

Lakeland would go on to lose three in a row on the road: a 110-100 loss to the Capitanes, a 141-133 loss to the Texas Legends Nov. 21 and a 122-120 loss to the Legends Nov. 22.

Still, Lakeland bounced back last Friday heading into its most recent victory thanks to a 100-89 win over Mexico City.

Guard Xavier Simpson took over the second half with his 13 points. He finished with 16 total.

“We needed to keep playing defense. We held them to a 43-point first half,” Simpson said. “It was important to get this win after a 1-3 road trip.”

Scrubb finished with a game-high 30 points and five boards. Center Simisola Shittu put up 17 points and 11 boards.

This article originally appeared on The Ledger: Lakeland Magic wins two over Mexico City