Latavious Williams, Larry Owens and the Tulsa 66ers are headed to the second round of the D-League playoffs.
Tulsa 66ers 111, Sioux Falls Skyforce 101 (Box Score)
This game was close after the first quarter, but the Skyforce's guards struggled to hit shots while Tulsa pulled away. Led by their trio of perimeter players that include two members of the Oklahoma City Thunder, the 66ers now go on to face the #1 seed Iowa Energy, who beat the Utah Flash to advance earlier today.
On to the stars/non-stars of the game.
If you notice that I didn't mention either Kirk Penney or Chris McCray, who finished with 36 and 22 points, respectively, it's because they mostly played well in the second half, when Tulsa was pretty much set to win the game anyway:
- Kyle Weaver finished with 27 points on 15 shots, eight rebounds and seven assists. He settled for some tough outside shots at time, but for the most part was scoring and creating opportunities by driving to the rim.
- Latavious Williams played well off the bench, finishing with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and he looked a lot more comfortable on the court than he did in the second game. He also showed more shooting range than I've seen from him thus far, but he also got a little cocky and shot an off-balance 13-footer at one point when he could've worked for a better shot.
- Greg Stiemsma had 10 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks and played very good defense. The Skyforce seemed to change strategy, though, and weren't throwing the ball into the post as much early in the game. I'm not sure whether that would've made a difference, but what they did do certainly didn't work, as you'll see after the jump.
- David Bailey and Leemire Goldwire combined to shoot 1-14, and 1-7 from outside, and generally let the Skyforce offense get disorganized. They also had a tougher time guarding Weaver and Mustafa Shakur than in the second game, and were two of the main culprits in letting Tulsa run up the lead.
- Byron Mullens wasn't completely awful, I guess. He showed some decent moves in the post during the few times he deigned to play there, and was okay guarding Stiemsma. He spent the vast majority of the game hanging around the perimeter, though, which a) yes is part of his game but b) wasn't working at all (he shot 0-3 from outside, 4-13 overall).
- Deron Washington was trying to make things happen by driving to the basket, but he missed. A lot. 1-9 shooting, though he got to the free-throw line a few times so he ended up with five points. He also fouled out in 29 minutes.