Idaho 108, Austin 101
BOISE, Idaho, April 25 -- The Idaho Stampede captured the 2008 NBA Development League championship Friday night by defeating the Austin Toros 108-101 in Game 3 of the NBA D-League Finals at Qwest Arena.
“It was an unbelievable game and a special night,” said Stampede coach Bryan Gates. “This is one of those days (that) when you’re 60 years old, you’ll look back and say, ‘I remember that day.’”
Led by Cory Violette’s 15 first-half points, Idaho held a 55-46 halftime edge with a 26–17 rebounding advantage. The Toros, energized by a pair of Andre Barrett 3s, chipped away at the lead to start the third quarter, pulling within three points on a Justin Bowen fast-break layup with 4:08 remaining in the period. But Idaho's Josh McRoberts put an end to the run with an alley-oop slam from teammate Luke Jackson.
The season-high crowd of 4,124 roared when Violette retrieved an errant Jackson pass and threw in a desperation 29-foot banker as the third-quarter buzzer sounded. The big man from Gonzaga recorded just three triples during the regular season, and this one extended the Idaho lead to 81-69.
Idaho continued to pour it on in the fourth as Mike Taylor caught fire from downtown. The 6-foot-2 reserve guard hit four consecutive 3-pointers in a three-minute span, the last accounting for his 27th point of the game.
Brent Petway iced the game for the Stampede when Taylor and “Air Georgia” hooked up for one of their patented alley-oops, making the score 106-93.
The victory marked the end of the 12-year professional playing career of Idaho’s Randy Livingston, who spent over a decade in the NBA and the past two years in the D-League. The D-League MVP for 2007 tallied six points in Game 3.
“This is the most amazing way to end,” said Livingston. “I remember Jerome Bettis walked out a Super Bowl champion. Any championship is one you relish, one you savor.”