66ers Season Comes to a Close in Semifinals Loss

HIDALGO, Texas, April 21, 2013 – The Tulsa 66ers fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 113-106, in Game 2 of the NBA Development League Semifinals at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo, Texas. With the loss, Tulsa was eliminated from its third Semifinals appearance in the past four years.

Seven 66ers scored in double figures behind Rasual Butler’s 26 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks. Hollis Thompson collected 17 points and 13 rebounds with all of his points coming in the second half.

Tony Taylor scored 12 points while dishing out 12 assists and committing zero turnovers. Taylor’s dozen assists are the most by a D-League player during the 2013 Playoffs.

Ron Anderson and Mario Little each recorded 14 points and Rodney Bartholomew added 12. Isaiah Wilkerson scored 11 off the bench.

After trailing 60-47 at halftime, the 66ers outscored the Vipers 27-22 in the third frame to pull within eight. RGV then extended its lead to 15 in the fourth, leading 111-96 with 1:40 remaining.

The 66ers showed resiliency in their final seconds of the season, outscoring the Vipers 10-0 over a minute and thirty seconds to pull within five before RGV sunk a pair of free throws with 5.9 seconds left.

“This team is built of hard-working guys,” said Tulsa Head Coach Darko Rajakovic. “They fought for all 48 minutes. We had our chances to come back and had a good come back in the last two minutes, but unfortunately we needed two more minutes to win this game. I’m really proud of them and what they gave tonight.”

The Vipers made 19 3-point field goals and were led by D.J. Kennedy with 28 points.

Tulsa forced 24 turnovers while giving up the ball only nine times. Tulsa’s average of 18.4 forced turnovers a game during the playoffs are the second most of the eight teams that competed in the postseason, while surrendering a D-League playoff-low average of 12.6 turnovers.

The 66ers’ 2012-13 season was one of development and improvement. Serving as the home of NBA prospects and Oklahoma City Thunder assignments, the 66ers led the D-League with 40 NBA assignments. Tulsa saw five Thunder players in uniform throughout the season in Reggie Jackson, Perry Jones, Jeremy Lamb, DeAndre Liggins and Daniel Orton.

The 66ers also had two NBA GATORADE Call-Ups with Daniel Orton signing with the Oklahoma City Thunder in November and Chris Quinn signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers in March.

Tulsa finished the regular season with a 27-23 record under first-year head coach Rajakovic.

“Overall, I think the guys showed a lot of improvement this season,” said Rajakovic. “They showed they were all real professionals. This season was very successful for them, especially the six rookies that were playing their first season of professional basketball.”

For more information, visit Tulsa66ers.com