Mo Almond played well in his D-League debut yesterday. (via www.nba.com)
Tulsa 66ers 98, Springfield Armor 91
In yesterday's early action, the score of this one was 18-13 after the first quarter. Ugh. I missed it, because I was busy sleeping. I said it was early action. (Okay, so it was 11 am central time. Whatever.) Tulsa's win put them at .500, and they have some nice pieces that could push them higher in the standings. Mustafa Shakur has been a fantastic point guard in this league so far, and he had 27 points on 13 shots with six assists and five rebounds (and also five turnovers). They have a few guys who each can get hot on a certain night, and last night it was Cecil Brown with 5-8 shooting (though he also missed both of his threes). And, cough cough, they have Latavious Williams, who played a season high (it seems wrong to also call it a career high) 15 minutes last night and gave the team 10 points on five shots and seven rebounds. He missed half of his foul shots, but he also didn't commit a foul or turn the ball over once. Byron Mullens (who's technically more a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder than the 66ers) added 19 points and six rebounds.
It's amazing what a former NBA player can do for a team. Springfield lost, but Morris Almond had 27 points and seven rebounds, but he also put a spring in JamesOn Curry's step, so to speak. Curry had 15 points on 7-11 shooting and a season-high seven assists before fouling out. Maybe he just needed someone to pass the ball to. Major Wingate had six turnovers but otherwise continued to play pretty well with 12 points and six boards. The Armor fell to 0-6, but things may be starting to look up.
The rest of the games (which were played at a more reasonable hour) are after the jump.
Iowa Energy 117, Dakota Wizards 108
Where the hell did this come from, Mark Tyndale? 31 points on 9-17 shooting (12-15 from the free-throw line) and eight rebounds for Tyndale in 27 and a half minutes. He had help in the form of 20 points from Earl Barron, nine assists from Curtis Stinson and 16 points on 10 shots (4-7 on three-pointers) from Jeff Trepagnier, but it was pretty much all Tyndale down the stretch.
Dakota got some decent games from Maurice Baker (30 points) and Marcus Dove (eight points on 4-5 shooting, 11 rebounds), but aside from those two the Wizards shot 37 percent from the field. They were also whistled for 33 fouls, which might be more of a big deal if both Griffin and Stinson hadn't fouled out for Iowa. This one was mostly on them, particularly in the second half. David Bell made three of his six three-point attempts but was 0-7 inside the arc. Romel Beck was 0-3 from outside and 3-10 overall. Connor Atchley is giving them nothing off the bench. Et cetera.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers 125, Albuquerque Thunderbirds 112
Joey Dorsey had a field day in this one, as one would expect given how thin Albuquerque is up front. 18 points and 18 rebounds, and he had 14 of each at halftime. Six turnovers aren't great, but I'm sure coach Chris Finch will take that if it comes with 7-9 shooting. The entire RGV starting five scored in double figures, as did Stanley Asumnu. Mike Harris had 23 points and seven rebounds, Antonio Anderson had 17 points on eight shots and 13 assists. The Vipers never scored less than 30 points in a quarter, and now they've won six straight.
Albuquerque wasn't all that bad, they just couldn't keep Dorsey off the boards, couldn't guard RGV's shooters, and couldn't keep Harris out of the lane. But, you know, other than that. Yaroslav Korolev shot 8-12 for 18 points, Carlos Powell had 23 points on 13 shots and Kevin Pittsnogle had 19 points off the bench. Albuquerque had a decent third quarter, but the Vipers had four of them, it's as simple as that.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants 107, Sioux Falls Skyforce 98
Fort Wayne was in control for pretty much the entire game; 40 of the Skyforce's points came in the second quarter. Other than that, I think it's fair to say that they struggled. Jeff Potter posted a to-do list before the game, so let's see how the team did.
- We have to get off to a strong start tonight. We can't continue to fall behind early and have success; I'd say that finishing the first quarter with a 30-19 lead qualifies as starting strong
- Got to rebound...be physical and BLOCK OUT; Fort Wayne was actually outrebounded 37-49, but that apparently didn't matter.
- Execute; Does making 45 percent of your threes count as executing?
- Kyle McAlarney has to be a threat; McAlarney was 4-7 from outside and finished with 18 points. Only one of those made threes came in the second half, but we'll be lenient and say that he was a threat early, and opened the floor a little bit for his teammates.
- Ron Howard has to make his teammates better and stop looking out for his game. Scouts will be much more impressed with that type of play compared to throwing up a bunch of contested jumpers to try and get 20; Welllllllll...Howard got his 20 points, but he needed a team-high 17 shots to get there. He had seven rebounds and a six assists as well, but I can only imagine that spending several months with Mike D'Antoni's Knicks encouraged him to shoot, you know, whenever
Sioux Falls shot okay overall, 40 percent (okay, not great), but could barely hit anything from outside. Reggie Williams was good, anyway, with 27 points and six rebounds, and Greg Stiemsma grabbed nine boards. That's about it.
Maine Red Claws 116, Erie BayHawks 90
This was a close game at the end of the first quarter, then Erie decided to start missing all their shots. Maine, on the other hand, made 59 percent of its three-pointers, including a 6-8 outside shooting night from Billy Thomas (who had 26 points in total along with seven rebounds), a 5-7 effort from Tony Bobbitt and 3-5 from Billy Walker (who finished with 19 points and 11 rebounds). Will Blalock still hasn't been great offensively, but he had a season-high nine assists, and Trey Gilder had 24 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
John Bryant finally had a subpar game for the BayHawks, with 10 points on 10 shots and four rebounds, and only four of those points came after the first quarter. His backup Jarvis Gunter played pretty well with 14 points on nine shots and six boards, five of which were offensive, and Cedric Jackson had nine assists, but other than that the BayHawks just weren't very good on offense. The team has a few days off before playing the Red Claws again in back-to-back games, so perhaps they can come up with a solution by then.