Coming into yesterday's action, there were three teams, the Idaho Stampede, the Texas Legends, and the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, fighting for the eighth and final playoff spot. All three played, and all three had to win to have a shot at postseason play.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants 110, Sioux Falls Skyforce 104
The first of the three playoff deciders was the final regular season home game (and ultimately final home game) for the Mad Ants this season. Darnell Lazare went for 30 points and 10 rebounds (on 13-20 shooting from the field), and Chris Kramer added 25 points, 6 assists and 4 steals of his own for the Mad Ants, who managed to do their part despite the absence of Rod Wilmont, who was out with a toe injury. Ryan Wittman also had 16 points for the Mad Ants on three of six shooting from beyond the three point line.
Raymond Sykes had 32 points and 5 rebounds for the Skyforce, who finished with a league worst 10-39 record. Sean Marshall and Chris McCray added 23 and 22 points, respectively.
Idaho Stampede 95, Utah Flash 92
Antoine Walker (23, 10 and 4 assists) and Cedric Wheeler (21 and 10) both dropped 20-10 games and the Stampede won their regular season finale against the Utah Flash. Cedric Jackson had a tripled double (16 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists) and Tony Bobbitt had 14 for the Stampede, who will not be taking part in the 2011 D-League playoffs.
The Flash had seven players scored in double figures, lead by Ryan Thompson's 16. Brandon Costner had 13, Andre Ingram and Jordan Brady had 11, while Tony Gaffney, Kevin Kruger, and Brian Hamilton had 10 apiece. The Flash, losers of three straight, finished the season at 28-22, having already secured their own playoff spot.
Texas Legends 134, Austin Toros 128 (Double OT).
The Legends secured their first playoff appearance as the Texas Legends (in their first year as the Texas Legends) in a grueling double overtime victory over the Austin Toros. Joe Alexander had 36 points, 15 rebounds and 2 blocks in 54 minutes of playing time, while Rashad McCants had 28 on 11-17 shooting (3-6 from three). Sean Williams had 19, Booker Woodfox had 14, and Dominique Johnson had 10 for the Legends, who clinched their first playoff berth due to winning the tiebreaker with the Idaho Stampede.
Aubrey Coleman added 30 for the Toros, who finished at 22-28, two games out of the playoff hunt. Leo Lyons had a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds, as did Marcus Cousin with 18 points and 10 boards. Carldell "Squeaky" Johnson had 16 points, Kevin Palmer had 11 and Danny Green, on assignment from the San Antonio Spurs, had 19.
The first round matchups will be determined later today. The Iowa Energy have the first selection.
For the current (but not final, due to tomorrow's rescheduled Sioux Falls @ Dakota game) standings and playoff matchups, check the D-League's official site.