66ers Show Resiliency in Late Comeback

TULSA, Okla., March 2, 2013 – The Tulsa 66ers fought back from a 14-point deficit in the final six minutes to top the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 102-99, on Saturday at the SpiritBank Event Center.

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Perry Jones led all players in scoring with 21 points alongside seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks. Fellow Thunder assignee Jeremy Lamb scored 18 with four rebounds, three assists and two steals and DeAndre Liggins posted five points, five assists, four steals and three rebounds.

Trailing 94-80 with six minutes remaining, Tulsa put together a 14-0 run to tie the game with 2:24 on the clock. Sioux Falls answered with a 5-0 run to lead the 66ers 99-94 with just under a minute to play.

Rasual Butler used a driving dunk with 48 seconds left to begin chipping away at the Skyforce lead. After a 3-point miss by Sioux Falls’ Damian Saunders on the next possesion, Lamb pulled down the rebound and threw a lob pass to Butler, who laid it in to get within one.

As Sioux Falls brought the ball up court, Liggins and Butler double-teamed Skyforce guard Demetris Nichols and trapped him at halfcourt. As Liggins applied the defensive pressure, Butler stole the ball from Nichols and dunked it in to give Tulsa the lead with 10 seconds to play.

The 66ers defense forced a missed shot on Sioux Falls’ final possession before Butler was fouled and sealed Tulsa’s sixth-straight win with a pair of free throws.

“During the course of the whole game I was preaching to the guys that they needed to stay together and stay focused,” said Tulsa Head Coach Darko Rajakovic. “I told the guys to not think about the scoreboard or the result, just stay focused and show effort and play for our team. After a couple of stops in a row and good transition offense, guys saw that we were just a few points down. That was extra motivation for us and we finished the game on a high level.”

Butler, an 11-year NBA veteran, scored Tulsa’s final eight points. He scored 14 overall with seven rebounds and a pair of assists.

Tulsa (21-15) also saw a productive night from Andy Rautins, who scored 15 points and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range. With 117 3-point field goals on the season, Rautins tied the franchise record for most 3-pointers in a season, set by Moses Ehambe in 2009-10.

Sioux Falls (21-15) had seven players score in double digits, led by James Mays’ 18 points and 11 rebounds.

Tulsa’s six-game winning streak is the 66ers’ longest since winning 14 in a row in January 2011.

The 66ers are back in action Thursday morning at 11 as they host the Iowa Energy for a Kids Day game at the SpiritBank Event Center. For more information, visit Tulsa66ers.com.