Santa Cruz Drops to Oklahoma City in Heartbreaking Overtime Loss
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. - The defending NBA D-League Champion Santa Cruz Warriors (14-25) fell to the Oklahoma City Blue (14-24) 107-106 on Friday at Cox Convention Center.
Darington Hobson and Verdell Jones III paced the Warriors with 25 points apiece. Aaron Craft recorded a double- double, finishing with 14 points, 12 assists, and 8 rebounds.
Oklahoma City Thunder assignee Mitch McGary scored a career-high 32 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Blue past Santa Cruz. Dwight Buycks finished the night with 27 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Santa Cruz quickly advanced to 6-0, keeping the Blue scoreless for the first three minutes of the opening frame. Oklahoma City would take their first lead of the game after going on a 9-0 run to edge the Warriors by two points at the 3:29 mark. Santa Cruz would respond with an 8-2 run to hold the two-point edge heading into the second period.
The two teams would trade buckets early in the second quarter until the Blue went on a 17-0 run to secure a 56-42 lead with just over two minutes to play in the first half. A 4-0 run to end the quarter would cut Santa Cruz's deficit to 10 points heading into the break.
The Blue led the entire third quarter, but the Warriors stayed within striking distance throughout the period. The fourth quarter saw a tightly-contested battle for the edge, complete with three lead changes and five ties.
The Warriors led 97-92 with 50 seconds remaining in regulation before Dwight Buycks cut the deficit to two by making a floater, drawing the foul, and sinking the following free throw. After the Warriors and Blue exchanged buckets, Golden State assignee Kevon Looney put the Warriors up 100-97 at the foul line.
With 6.9 seconds on the clock, Buycks narrowly missed a game-tying three attempt. Josh Huestis pulled down the offensive board and kicked it out to an open Buycks - this time hitting his mark from behind the arc and forcing overtime.
McGary scored five of the Blue's seven overtime points - including the go-ahead free throw with 15.6 seconds remaining. The Blue's JP Tokoto would pull down the game-sealing free throw on Santa Cruz's final possession.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will once again face the Oklahoma City Blue tomorrow night at 5 p.m at Cox Convention Center. Fans can watch the game on the NBA D-League's YouTube channel, via www.santacruzbasketball.com.
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