This last week, the Tulsa 66ers took part in the annual D-League’s showcase. The showcase was first played in 2005 was originally intended solely as a scouting event for NBA general managers and scouts, but has evolved into a fan-friendly four day event in which each team plays two games apiece. Hosted in Reno, Nevada, it is the same atmosphere as an All-Star game, but the teams play two games while there. So, it allows scouts to get a good idea of certain players.
Dominique Sutton Wins Dunk Contest
In the Slam Dunk Competition, the four competitors received two dunks per round and were scored by five judges.
Sutton advanced to the finals with a double pump rim rocker for 41 points and a 360 spin and slam for 42 points – his highest-scoring dunk of the night.
In the finals, Sutton opened with a windmill dunk good for 40 points. His opponent – Dar Tucker of the Reno Bighorns – responded with a behind-the-back jam for 46.
Sutton countered with a behind-the-back of his own, scoring 38 points. Tucker struggled to get his original dunk down in his second turn and was given a 30 by the judges – giving Sutton a 78-76 victory.
Andry Rautins Wins 3PT Shootout
The 3-Point Shootout featured five racks around the arc with four balls worth one point and an additional “money ball” worth two points. Each player was also allowed to substitute any rack for a “money rack” where all shots were worth double. The maximum amount of points a player could score in one round was 34.
The four competitors were given one minute to shoot with the top two scores advancing to the finals.
The contest began with Justin Dentmon (Austin Toros) and Nick Covington (Erie BayHawks) posting 15 points each followed by Reno’s Marcus Landry sinking 16 points.
Needing over 15 points to advance, Rautins netted 22 points to claim a spot in the final round.
Landry, playing in front of the home crowd in Reno, scored 16 in the final round.
Rautins started his round slow, sinking only one of the five shots on his first rack in the corner. The Syracuse product quickly recovered, sinking all five on the next rack. Rautins then made four shots on his “money rack” at the top of the arc before sinking all five on the fourth rack. With the contest already won, Rautins finished with three more makes on the final set – totaling 23 points.
Two games in the Showcase for the 66ers were against the Maine Red Claws and the Fort Wayne Red Ants, Tulsa split with the games, winning the first game. The win over the Red Claws, ended the 66ers four game losing streak.
Tulsa 66ers 105, Maine Red Claws 93
Orton paced Tulsa with 25 points on 9-for-12 shooting from the floor, to go along with five steals and three blocked shots. He lost out to DeAndre Liggins for the final roster spot with the Thunder before the season but was re-signed following the James Harden trade.
Lamb, acquired from the Houston Rockets in the James Harden trade, tallied 18 points and seven assists. He originally made a name for himself as a member of the University of Connecticut Huskies team that won the National Championship in 2011.
Jones was selected with the Thunder’s first-round pick, 28th overall, in the 2012 NBA Draft. He went on to score 11 points and grab eight rebounds for the 66ers.
Hollis Thompson is not an assignment player but he was in training camp with Oklahoma City during the preseason and came to play with a purpose here in Reno. Thompson put together a complete game, earning a double-double with 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting. He was also a presence in the paint, collecting 14 rebounds.
Fort Wayne Mad Ants 121, Tulsa 66ers 115
There is no recap for this game. No video either. Sorry. Tulsa is 9-8 after this game.
Santa Cruz Warriors 93, Tulsa 66ers 72
The Tulsa 66ers fell to the Santa Cruz Warriors, 93-72, on Friday at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Oklahoma City Thunder assignee Perry Jones posted 13 points and a career-best 18 rebounds while fellow assignee Daniel Orton collected eight points and eight rebounds.
Hollis Thompson led Tulsa with 18 points alongside six rebounds and Andy Rautins added 15 points and four boards.
Tulsa (9-9) outrebounded Santa Cruz (10-6) 48-45 and forced 16 Warrior turnovers.
Santa Cruz was led by Taylor Griffin with 21 points and nine boards.
Santa Cruz Warriors 92, Tulsa 66ers 80
The Tulsa 66ers fell to the Santa Cruz Warriors, 92-80, on Sunday night at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz, Calif.
Andy Rautins and Dominique Sutton lead the 66ers with 16 points apiece. Sutton collected his fourth double-double of the season by adding 12 rebounds.
The nine 66ers players who saw action all scored at least six points each – including Hollis Thompson who posted 12 points and four boards.
The 66ers (9-10) outrebounded Santa Cruz 36-33 and forced 18 Warriors turnovers.
Santa Cruz (11-6) was led by Stefhon Hannah with 25 points and four assists.
Upcoming games for Tulsa (9-10):
Friday, Jan 18: 7pm vs. Austin Toros (11-8)
Saturday, Jan 19: 7pm vs. Austin Toros (11-8)
Tuesday, Jan 22: 7pm at Iowa Energy (6-13)