BRYCE MILLER REGISTER STAFF WRITER November 26, 2007
Iowa's debut of NBA Development League basketball began with sightings of Gov. Chet Culver, Major League Baseball player Casey Blake and loud music.
More importantly for the first-year Iowa Energy, it ended with a comeback and a 101-98 victory tonight against Albuquerque in the home debut at Wells Fargo Arena.
Iowa trailed by 10 points with 4 minutes 23 seconds left, before roaring back in front of a D-League record crowd of 8,842.
"From an entertainment standpoint, you win a close game at home and that's the best thing you can do," Iowa coach Nick Nurse said. "I don't think we showed, at all, the capabilities we have but they pulled out a win."
Dwayne Mitchell scored a team-high 27 points for Iowa along with a game-high 14 rebounds as the Energy improved to a league-best 3-0.
Chicago Bulls draft pick JamesOn Curry added 21 points for Iowa, while ex-Hawkeye Doug Thomas finished with 14.
"Nobody wanted to lose on opening night," Thomas said. "You want to send people home happy. You've got to keep the fans coming back and wanting to see more."
Another former University of Iowa player, Jeff Horner, finished with six points, and four rebounds.
Albuquerque (2-1) was led by 27 points from Josh Gross.
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Good start. We'll see if they can keep it up. RGV's attendance dropped almost by a half in their second game, though Sundays in November are never a good idea in Texas.