TULSA, OK. – The Tulsa 66ers were victorious in their first playoff game in the five year history of the franchise, defeating the Sioux Falls Skyforce 119-109. An announced crowd of 3,464 was treated to an exciting display of physical basketball inside the Tulsa Convention Center. On Thursday afternoon. Six Tulsa players scored in double digits, as the 66ers shot 56.4 percent from the field on the day.
Tulsa’s Kyle Weaver lead all scorers with 30 points, as he hit five of six shots from three point range. Mustafa Shakur nearly notched a double-double, scoring 21 points and adding six assists. Recent assignee D.J. White also contributed 21 points to the 66ers effort. Sioux Falls guard Kirk Penney lead the Skyforce, scoring 16 points, while Nathan Jawai would score 15 coming off of the bench.
The opening quarter saw Sioux Falls hold a slim 27-25 lead after outscoring the 66ers 14-10 in the paint. Tulsa took advantage of an 11-4 run in the last five minutes of the second quarter to take a 58-52 lead into the half. Tulsa’s Kyle Weaver led all scorers in the first half with 14, including a perfect three-for-three mark on treys. Both teams enjoyed field goal percentages of just over 50 percent in the second quarter. Tulsa saw success at the charity stripe in the second, sinking 17 of 20 free throws.
The Skyforce would pull within one point at 10:56 of the third on a Joe Krabbenhoft layup., only to see the Sixers take control outscoring them 32-26. The crowd would become vocal near the nine minute mark of the third quarter, as the 66ers put on a defensive clinic during a Skyforce possession.
Weaver and Byron Mullens each would come up with big blocks, resulting in a break out and resulting in Mullens draining a three-pointer after an assist by Shakur. Tulsa was 57.1 percent from the field in the third while converting five of eight three-pointers and 21 of 28 free throws. The 66ers would take a comfortable 90-78 lead into the final quarter.
The 66ers would cruise from that point, matching Sioux Falls basket for basket down the stretch. At the final horn the score would be Tulsa 119, Sioux Falls 109. Tulsa leads the first round best-of-three series 1-0, with a possible deciding game two set for tomorrow night in Sioux Falls. Friday night’s game can be seen live on the internet via NBA D-League’s “Futurecast” at http://www.nba.com/dleague/ .
by: Kevin Pyle
Scoring: 1 2 3 4 F
Sioux Falls…….. 27 25 26 31 109
Tulsa…………. 25 33 32 29 119
Tulsa- K. Weaver 30, M. Shakur 21, D. White 21, B. Mullens 18, L. Owens 12, M. Lewis 3, M. Ehambe 3.
Sioux Falls- K. Penney 16, N. Jawai 15, L. Goldwire 14, J. Newson 13, D. Bailey 12, G. Stiemsma 11, R. Sykes 10, C. McCray 9, j. Krabbenhoft 6, M. Nelson 3.