The Mob continued to sail through the early stages of the 2023 season, beating the Slashers 72-51 and Buzzsaw 50-31 on Sunday to improve to 4-0. The league’s only undefeated team has been led by gunner Darius Clark, who produced 83 points over the weekend, second in SlamBall to only the Wrath’s Ty McGee (91), and stopper Gage Smith, who leads the league in stops (40), loose ball recoveries (37) and steals (10).
The SlamBall season resumes on Thursday, July 27, at 8:00 p.m. ET on ESPN 2.
Game 1 – Buzzsaw 41, Gryphons 30
The Buzzsaw emerged from an early hole to win their third straight game to start the season, downing the Gryphons 41-30. The Buzzsaw trailed 18-6 at the end of the first quarter but outscored the Gryphons 35-12 the rest of the way. Jamaal Barnes Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif.) and Malik Abdul-Haqq (Seattle, Wash.) each contributed nine points for the Buzzsaw. Abdul-Haqq also came away with 10 loose ball recoveries. The Gryphons hurt their chances by committing 13 team violations, resulting in 24 points for the Buzzsaw. Justin Holmes (Roseville, Calif.) paced the Gryphons with a game-high 12 points.
Game 2 – Mob 72, Slashers 51
Like the Buzzsaw, the Mob kept their record unblemished with a resounding 72-51 victory over the Slashers, setting up a Main Event clash between the league’s only undefeated teams. In two matchups this season, the Mob have outscored the Slashers 134-74. The Slashers led 16-15 after the first quarter, but the Mob’s Brandon Simpson (Germantown, Md.) spearheaded a furious second-quarter rally. Simpson posted 18 first-half points on six dunks as his squad took a 33-25 advantage into the intermission. He finished with a game-high 27 points, including nine dunks, while Darius Clark (Blue Springs, Mo.) scored 20 points, his third straight game with at least that many. Mob stopper Gage Smith (Elizabeth, Colo.) continues to be a defensive eraser, making 14 stops, the most of any player so far this season, while recovering eight loose balls. The Slashers were led by Naradain James (Kalamazoo, Mich.), who had a team-high 14 points, and Amir Smith (Missouri City, Tex.), who made eight stops.
Main Event – Mob 50, Buzzsaw 31
The Mob posted a 50-31 victory over the Buzzsaw in the Main Event, which featured the league’s only remaining undefeated teams. The Mob have rarely been tested on their way to a 4-0 start, winning each game by at least 19 points. The combination of gunner Darius Clark and stopper Gage Smith has proven to be overwhelming. In the win over the Buzzsaw, Clark dropped in 15 points, while Smith was credited with 12 stops, 12 loose ball recoveries and three steals. The Buzzsaw received solid efforts from Jamaal Barnes Jr., who had a game-high 16 points, and Tyquan Scott (Long Beach, N.Y.), who registered 12 stops.
“I think we had the guys ready,” Mob head coach Brendan Kirsch said about his team’s hot start. “I think we were probably one of the few teams that didn’t let the distractions get to us and they were ready to play on Day 1. I think a lot of teams are going to get better as the season goes on. We’re not going to finish undefeated. I can guarantee you that. But right now, we’re playing pretty well.”