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66ers hold off D-Fenders in Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Feb. 8, 2010 – Latavious Williams had his second double-double in the last three games with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds, as the Tulsa 66ers defeated the Los Angeles D-Fenders 101-100 on Monday at the STAPLES Center.

The D-Fenders went out in front early in the game, as Joe Crawford scored nine points to put Los Angeles ahead 19-9 with 5:18 to go in the first quarter. The 66ers battled back with a 15-4 run after four-straight Mustafa Shakur points gave Tulsa their first lead at 24-23 with under a minute remaining in the period. Two Larry Owens free throws gave the 66ers a 26-25 edge at the break, as the Tulsa shot 10-for-20 from the field. Crawford’s nine points led the D-Fenders, as they shot 52.4 percent (11-21) from the field. Williams grabbed six rebounds in the first quarter alone.

An 8-0 run for the 66ers to start the second quarter pushed their lead to 34-25 after a DeVon Hardin put-back lay-in. Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the period, as the 66ers took a 53-46 advantage into halftime. Ryan Forehan-Kelly led the D-Fenders with 10 second quarter points, but Los Angeles shot 5-of-14 (35.7 percent) from the field in the period. While Tulsa shot 13-of-24 from the field, they did commit six turnovers, but amassed a 17-4 rebounding edge in the period.

Getting as close as five-points early in the third quarter, the D-Fenders let Shakur run off five straight points, as the 66ers went ahead 75-62 with 2:45 remaining. An Owens dunk punctuated the quarter, as Tulsa took an 80-68 advantage into the final period. Shakur scored 11 third quarter points, as the 66ers shot 11-for-24 and forced six turnovers by Los Angeles that amounted to 11 points in the period. The D-Fenders shot 9-for-19 (47.4 percent) from the field in the quarter.

A 10-3 run by the D-Fenders in the fourth quarter, capped by a Crawford long jump shot, cut the 66ers lead to 87-82 with 7:08 remaining in the game. Tulsa answered back with a 9-2 run of their own, extending to a 96-84 edge after a Williams turnaround jumper with 4:55 left. The D-Fenders outscored the 66ers 16-5 in the remaining minutes of the game, but an Owens free throw with under a minute left put the game out of reach. Crawford led the D-Fenders near comeback with 11 fourth quarter points, as they shot 57.1 percent (12-21) in the period. Moses Ehambe scored all seven of his points in the final stanza, as Tulsa shot 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) and were outrebounded 14-6 in the quarter.

Despite making 15-of-27 free throw attempts, the 66ers outrebounded the D-Fenders 49-35 for the game, including a 21-7 advantage on the offensive glass. Tulsa never trailed in the game after taking the lead with 24 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

Led by Shakur with a team-high 21 points, the 66ers (15-14) finished with five players scoring in double-figures. Owens finished with 16 points, while Washington had 16 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Cecil Brown scored 10 points in the first 14 minutes of the game before injuring his ankle, and didn’t return to action.

The D-Fenders (9-16) were led by Crawford with 22 points, as they also finished with five players in double-figures. Forehan-Kelly came off the bench to score 20 points and grab six boards, while Frank Robinson contributed 11 points and nine assists. Diamon Simpson added a double-double with 11 points and 11 boards, while James Wright had 10 points.

These two teams will pair up in a rematch game on Wednesday, Feb. 10 at the Toyota Sports Center at 5:30 p.m. CST. It will be both teams’ final game prior to the NBA All-Star break.