66ers beat Texas 91-89 for season-opening sweep
BY DUANE DAPRON World Correspondent
Monday, November 26, 2012
11/26/12 at 6:00 AM
Daniel Orton finished with team highs in points and rebounds for the Tulsa 66ers Sunday afternoon but it was his assist in the final seconds that might have been his biggest play of the game.
Heavily covered in the lane, Orton hit a wide open Brady Morningstar in the right corner and the former University of Kansas standout swished a 3-pointer with 21 seconds remaining to put Tulsa ahead to stay in the 66ers' 91-89 victory against the Texas Legends in NBA Developmental League action before a crowd of 1,674 at the SpiritBank Event Center.
The win capped Tulsa's two-game sweep of the Legends to open the season following the 66ers' 83-76 victory in the teams' season opener Friday night.
Orton, who was assigned to Tulsa Thursday along with guard DeAndre Liggins by the Oklahoma City Thunder, ended up with 24 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to go along with three steals, three blocked shots and three assists.
"I thought Daniel did just an amazing job tonight," Tulsa head coach Darko Rajakovic said of the University of Kentucky product.
"He played well both on offense and defense. He was very focused."
The 6-foot-10, 255-pound center from Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City tallied six unanswered points to help Tulsa rally from a 10-point deficit - its biggest of the game - in the final two minutes of the third quarter.
Tulsa hit seven of its nine field-goal attempts in the final quarter, including five of seven from 3-point range, and finally took the lead 84-82 on a Morningstar 3-pointer from the right corner with 3:35 to play.
"I think the most important thing about this team, and I have noticed it in practice, during the season and then again tonight, is that they just never give up," Rajakovic said.
"That's something that I am really proud of with this team."
But after falling behind late, the Legends did not go away quietly.
Texas quickly knotted the contest at 84 on a pair of free throws by Chris Douglas-Roberts, who led all scorers with 29 points.
Another Morningstar 3-pointer, one of four on the evening for the sharpshooter, put the 66ers back in front 87-84 with 1:59 to play. The basket was set up on a pass from Liggins, who had four assists in the final period.
But a bucket from Douglas-Roberts and a free throw by Christian Eyenga evened the score at 87 with 1:02 to play.
After Tulsa's Andy Rautins was whistled for a charging foul, Douglas-Roberts canned an 18-footer for an 89-87 Texas lead with 36 seconds remaining.
Morningstar then made his go-ahead 3-pointer off the Orton assist, and following a miss by Douglas-Roberts with three seconds to play, Rautins added a free throw for Tulsa's final point.
Former Edison High School standout Will Creekmore scored all eight of his points in the opening quarter to help Tulsa stay even with the Legends early.
Original Print Headline: 66ers beat Texas for sweep