Thursday, April 29, 2010

RGV edges Tulsa for title

In a contest where Rio Grande Valley couldn’t buy a 3-pointer for much of the game, Craig Winder found a bit of luck from long range at the wrong time for the Tulsa 66ers.

Winder banked in a 3-pointer as time expired, giving the Vipers a 94-91 victory over the 66ers and handing Rio Grande Valley a 2-0 series victory and the 2010 NBA Development League championship. Winder’s winning shot capped a 7-for-30 night from behind the arc for the Vipers, but was the second in the last two minutes for the Viper guard.

Winder’s winning shot capped a 7-0 run to end the game for the Vipers, who trailed Tulsa 91-87 after Marcus Lewis nailed a pair of free throws with 1:38 to play. Tulsa had just two field goal tries to end the game, but Wink Adams missed a 3-pointer and driving layup as the 66ers couldn’t add to their lead.

Trailing 82-80 with 5:11 to play, Tulsa’s Larry Owens took over the contest. Owens would score the 66ers’ next nine points, giving Tulsa an 89-84 lead with 2:17 to play. Owens finished the night with a team-high 25 points, including 11 points in the final stanza.

Owens also sizzled on the defensive end, posting six rebounds, four blocked shots, and three steals. He also forced the Vipers’ Mike Harris into a turnover with 27.6 remaining, preserving a 91-91 tie before Winder’s heroics.

While Harris was foiled on that play, he was once again a nemesis for Tulsa. The D-League’s Most Valuable Player finished with game-highs in points (26) and rebounds (16).

In a game that saw 19 lead changes and 12 ties, Tulsa was able to control the pace throughout the contest, frequently frustrating the high-octane Vipers and their sellout crowd.

Tied with 2.1 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Tulsa’s JaJuan Smith connected on a 3-pointer to give the 66ers a 67-64 edge after three periods. Smith nailed another 3-pointer on Tulsa’s first fourth-quarter possession to push the 66er lead to six points, its largest of the contest.

Smith would finish with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting from the field, part of a Tulsa bench effort that also included Latavious Williams with 14 points and eight rebounds. In all, Tulsa’s bench outscored their Vipers’ counterparts, 34-27.

1 comment:

  1. i saw that the NBA D league just posted the new seasons schedule including the 66ers. any thoughts/opinions on it? teams potential this year?