DES MOINES, IA. – The Tulsa 66ers are still fighting for their playoff lives, after roaring back from a 15 point deficit to defeat the Iowa Energy 117-106 in game two of the best-of-three NBA D-League semi-finals Sunday afternoon at Wells Fargo Arena. Wink Adams led seven double-digit scorers for the 66ers with 24 points and six assists before 2,865 fans in the first meeting between the two squads this season in Iowa.
The 66ers were without the services of star players Byron Mullens, Mustafa Shakur and Kyle Weaver who were recalled by the Oklahoma City Thunder on Saturday. In previous playoff action Mullens averaged 13.3 points, while Shakur averaged 16 per game and Weaver led the trio with 24 points per game. All three appeared in four previous playoff contests for Tulsa.
Tulsa jumped out to an early lead thanks in part to a 12-3 run while connecting on 8 of 22 shots from the field in the opening quarter. Deron Washington led the 66ers in the first, scoring seven points. Iowa fought back, led by Darian Townes, as they pulled to within two points to make the score 20-18 heading into the break.
The Energy outscored the 66ers 17-5 to open the second frame as they jumped out to a ten point lead with 7 minutes remaining after a three-pointer from Pat Carroll. Iowa took advantage of 6 Tulsa turnovers to stretch the lead to 15 points with a little over a minute remaining. Carroll and guard Curtis Stinson had nine points each in the quarter as the Energy carried a 53-40 lead into halftime.
Tulsa took over the game in the second half, erasing the 13 point deficit and outscoring Iowa 43-27 in the third quarter to take an 83-80 lead into the final stanza. Tulsa shot 70 percent (14-20) from the field and out-rebounded Iowa 14-6. Washington and Cecil Brown paced the 66ers with 11 points each in the third, while Mark Tyndale scored 10 for the Energy.
The 66ers started off the fourth quarter on a 6-1 run that was capped by a Larry Owens three-pointer. The Energy would pull back to within four points before JaJuan Smith drained a trey and Moses Ehambe converted a conventional three-point-play to pull Tulsa ahead 95-87 with 7 minutes left.
From there the two teams traded baskets until Ehambe hit a three with 1:13 remaining to give the 66ers a 110-99 lead. Key free throws through the final minute helped the 66ers keep a safe distance and pull of the series tying win.
Tulsa was 49 percent from the field for the game and out-rebounded Iowa 50-46, as they held the Energy to 37 percent from the field.
Up next for the two teams is a deciding game three set for a 7 P.M. tip-off on Tuesday, April 20 at Wells Fargo Arena. The game will not only decide who moves on to the D-League finals, as it will also break a deadlock in the season series between Tulsa and Iowa. On the season the two squads have met six times, with each team having won three.
1 2 3 4 F
Tulsa 20 20 43 34 117
Iowa 18 35 27 26 106
Tulsa- Adams 24, Washington 20, Owens 17, Ehambe 16, Brown 11, Lewis 10, Williams 10, Smith 9
Iowa- Stinson 30, Tyndale 22, Brown 16, Carroll 14, Atchley 9, Trepagnier 7, Townes 6, Evans 2