Charge Even Series With Game 2 Rout of 66ers
The Canton Charge led wire-to-wire in a 102-80 victory over the Tulsa 66ers in Game 2 of the opening round NBA D-League Playoff series between the two teams. A crowd of 3,151 at the Memorial Civic Center saw the Charge tie the series at 1-1 and force a decisive Game 3 on Sunday.
Canton came out firing in the first, setting the tone with Antoine Agudio’s three-consecutive three-pointers early en route to netting a franchise playoff record 33 points on 56% shooting. Ryan Rossiter led the way with 13 points on 4-of-5 shooting for the Charge in the period.
The home team maintained the pressure in the second quarter, limiting the 66ers’ second chance opportunities by grabbing 12 rebounds on 14 Tulsa misses and forcing three turnovers. The Charge held the 66ers to just 37 first half points on 15-of-49 shooting for 31% from field, and led 57-37 at the break.
The onslaught continued in the third with the Charge dominating in the paint, scoring 20 of their 29 points near the basket. Micheal Eric was a large factor in that area with his 10 points on 4-of-6 shooting in the period as Canton led Tulsa 86-58 for their largest lead of the night heading into the fourth.
Canton led by as many as 31 points in the fourth quarter and outrebounded Tulsa 52-33. The Charge also finished with the edge in the paint, outscoring Tulsa 56-32. Both the 66ers’ 80 points and .356 field goal percentage for the game were the lowest for a Canton playoff opponent in their two-year history.
Rossiter finished with a game-high 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting with nine rebounds and two steals in 29 minutes. Arinze Onuaku tallied a double-double with 14 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks in 25 minutes. Eric added 18 points and six boards in 18 minutes off the bench. Jorge Gutierrez contributed a double-double of his own with 11 points, 10 rebounds, six assists and two steals in 33 minutes.
Jeremy Lamb led Tulsa with 23 points, including 4-of-7 from three-point range, with five rebounds and five steals in 37 minutes. Rasual Butler came off the bench to provide 15 points, four rebounds and two steals in 25 minutes. As a team, Tulsa attempted 32 three-pointers, hitting 11 for 34%. Tulsa’s bench outscored Canton 42-33 on the night, while the Charge starters outpaced the 66ers’ first unit, 69-38.
CHARGE HEAD COACH ALEX JENSEN
(On tonight's game):“I think that the first game they took advantage of us, but tonight we played hard and added the mental aspect to it. We played smarter and the guys were rotating to their strengths. We hit shots early, they missed and that kind of set the tone. The nice thing is that we sustained it and I don’t think that’s rare in the third quarter. We played to score, shared the ball, swung on offense and everybody got involved.”
(On Ryan Rossiter's effort tonight):“You know exactly what he’s going to do and he gives it his all every day. Eventually you have a break through like that and he’s confident.”
CHARGE F RYAN ROSSITER
(On if the possibility of elimination brought extra motivation):“Everyone at this level is professional and you know what’s at stake. We had that in the back of our mind, but we didn’t need a speech or anything to get motivated. We knew after the last game what was cut out for us.”
(On if his confidence goes up after a game like this):“I am definitely confident after a game like this. It’s always good to go out there and put up numbers, but most importantly we got the win. We’re going to play again Sunday and we are all looking forward to that. I know we are going to come ready.”
Be a part of Charge history! The decisive Game 3 is in Canton at the Memorial Civic Center on Sunday, April 14th at 3:00 p.m. Tickets start at just $8 and are on sale TODAY at 11:00 a.m.! Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster here or by calling 866-444-1944. For a Canton Memorial Civic Center seating chart, head here.
The Canton Charge are exclusively operated by the Cleveland Cavaliers and also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Majority Owner and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Lake Erie Monsters of the American Hockey League and the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League, both playing at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland, Ohio.