New faces contribute, but Stampede's win streak snapped

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comMarch 1, 2014 

— They had less than two days to acclimate to their new team, but the Idaho Stampede’s three new faces are off to a good start.

Idaho lost to the Santa Cruz Warriors 114-96 on Friday night at CenturyLink Arena, ending a three-game winning streak.

What the Stampede didn’t have during that streak — depth — was on hand in the loss, thanks to Darnell Lazare, Scott Machado and CJ Leslie, all added via trade Wednesday. The trio had a combined 29 points in 52 minutes.

“They did a good job, collectively,” Stampede coach Michael Peck said. “I think they gave us what we expected, which was good to see because we’ve hardly had them long at all.”

Santa Cruz (20-15) passed Idaho (20-16) for the eighth and final spot in the D-League playoff hunt, but the Stampede still have 14 games remaining, including a rematch with the Warriors at 7 p.m. Saturday night at CenturyLink Arena.

Lazare, acquired from Fort Wayne, tied a season-high with 14 points and seven rebounds in 27 minutes. Machado, against his former team, had 10 points in 22 minutes. Leslie, who did not make it to Boise in time to practice and only participated in shootaround, had five points and two rebounds after coming in with 3 minutes, 9 seconds to play.

“It felt pretty good, myself and the others are still getting used to playing with these guys,” Lazare said. “I want to let them know what I’m capable of, and help this team make a playoff run.”

During the winning streak, Idaho played seven players twice and six players once, but had 10 play Friday.

“In those three games, we didn’t play back-to-back, and if you can only play seven in two straight, you’ll need a lot of luck to try and win,” Peck said. “We’ve been leaning heavily on a couple guys, so hopefully it will help with that, too.”

Those key scorers, namely Kevin Murphy and Dee Bost, combined for 48 points against the Warriors. Bost nearly had a triple-double with 22 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Lazare, praised by Peck as a solid defender at the power forward spot, took off some of the heat offensively, scoring 10 of Idaho’s 12 points during one stretch in the second quarter. The Stampede led 53-48 at the half, but had 12 of their 17 turnovers in the second half. Santa Cruz had 102 field goal attempts to Idaho’s 83.

“We didn’t take of the ball, and we didn’t have as much urgency on the defensive end,” Lazare said. “If we can take care of things defensively, we can be a pretty good team.”

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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