Reno Bighorns Win Western Conference Championship
April 2, 2011
BAKERSFIELD, Calif.— Despite playing their third game in five nights on the heels of a seven-hour overnight bus trip, the Reno Bighorns clinched their first-ever Western Conference championship by defeating Bakersfield 94-83 on Saturday night in the Jam Events Center.
Tonight’s victory—Reno’s franchise-record eighth-straight win to close out the regular season—gives the ‘Horns the second-overall seed and the opportunity to choose their first-round playoff opponent in the 2011 NBA Development League playoffs.
Reno (34-16) fell behind early, trailing by as many as nine points in the first quarter, but clamped down on defense the rest of the way to improve to 6-1 this season against the playoff-bound Bakersfield Jam (29-21). Tonight marked the sixth-straight game that Reno has held an opponent to fewer than 100 points, finishing the regular season with a league-best 98.1 points per game allowed average.
Marcus Landry, the only player in tonight’s starting lineup that also started for the Bighorns on Opening Night, led Reno with 21 points. Five other Bighorns players chipped in with at least 10 points, helping Reno improve to 12-3 this season when at least six players register double-digit scoring efforts.
Los Angeles Clippers assignee Willie Warren led the Jam with 22 points, while Drew Naymick finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Reno held Bakersfield to just 42.7 percent shooting, finishing the regular season with a D-League-best 44.0 percent opponents field goal percentage.
The Bighorns will choose their playoff opponent tomorrow afternoon, with the first-round playoff schedule expected to be announced no later than Monday.
Bighorns playoff ticket packages are on sale now, and can be purchased by calling (775) 284-2622 or visiting RenoBighorns.com. Fans can purchase tickets to all six potential playoff games, with any extra game tickets being refunded or credited to a 2011-12 ticket plan.