Lamb's late surge fuels 66ers
BY KEVIN HENRY World Correspondent
Monday, December 10, 2012
12/10/12 at 4:16 AM
BIXBY - After seven quarters of rough shooting over the past two days, Jeremy Lamb admitted he was getting a little down. However, with the encouragement of his teammates and his aggressive mindset, Lamb worked through his mini-slump just in time for the Tulsa 66ers.
Lamb scored 13 of Tulsa's 23 points in the fourth quarter, helping the 66ers surge in the second half to an 85-81 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers in NBA Development League action on Sunday afternoon at the SpiritBank Event Center.
Sunday's game was the fourth in 10 days between the division foes, with Tulsa winning three of the four on its way to an overall 5-2 record.
Lamb had hit just seven shots in seven quarters heading into Sunday's final period, but the rookie from the University of Connecticut found his stroke in the fourth quarter, connecting on five of seven shots. He also hit two late free throws to ice the victory, finishing with 13 points in the quarter and a team-high 21 for the game.
"I was just trying to have a short-term memory," Lamb said about his approach to the fourth quarter. "I started out slow today and some of the shots I normally hit just weren't falling, but my teammates picked me up."
One of those teammates was Dominique Sutton. With the 66ers trailing by 10 at halftime, Sutton took over the game in the third quarter. After being held scoreless in the first half, Sutton had 13 points in the quarter, including hitting 7-of-10 attempts from the free-throw line.
His pair of free throws just before the end of the quarter gave Tulsa a 60-58 lead, and the 66ers did not trail again.
"He's a difficult player to defend," Tulsa head coach Darko Rajakovic said of Sutton. "He has improved his free-throw shooting a lot since the start of the season, and that made a difference today."
The chill that invaded the Tulsa area on Sunday crept into the 66ers' early shooting touch.
Coming off a hard-fought win over Rio Grande Valley (2-5) on Saturday night, the 66ers opened Sunday's rematch with just 11 points in the opening quarter.
After trailing 8-7 to open the game, Tulsa missed 15 of its next 16 shots as Rio Grande finished the first quarter on a 13-4 spurt to take a 21-11 edge heading into the second quarter. The 11 points were a season-low in any quarter for Tulsa.
Tulsa regained some of its offensive momentum in the second quarter, thanks in part to its bench, which accounted for 10 of the 66ers' 23 points in the quarter. Tulsa, however, couldn't slow down Viper forward Mike Singletary, who finished with 18 points in the first half. His 3-pointer closed out the first-half scoring and give Rio Grande Valley a 44-34 advantage at intermission.
Singletary finished with 25 points. Center Tim Ohlbrecht paced the Vipers with 28.
66ers up next
9 p.m. Friday
Tulsa's Jeremy Lamb shoots over Rio Grande Valley's Mike Singletary during Sunday's game in Bixby. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Tulsa's Dominique Sutton tries to tip in the ball past Rio Grande Valley's Glen Rice Jr. during Sunday's game at the Spirit-Bank Event Center in Bixby. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World