Veterans lead 66ers past Austin 96-87
BY KEVIN HENRY World Correspondent
Sunday, January 20, 2013
1/20/13 at 6:08 AM
On a Tulsa 66ers roster dominated by youth, NBA veterans Chris Quinn and Rasual Butler stand out. On Saturday night at the SpiritBank Event Center, the experienced duo made big plays late in the game that helped the 66ers snap a four-game losing streak.
Quinn and Butler combined for 13 of Tulsa's 22 points in the fourth quarter as the 66ers downed the Austin Toros 96-87 in an NBA Development League matchup. The win was just the second in the last 10 outings for Tulsa (10-11) and allowed the 66ers to salvage a weekend split with their Central Division rival.
"All of our players wanted this win tonight," said Tulsa head coach Darko Rajakovic. "This was a very important game for us. We were playing at home and we haven't defended our home court very well since early in the season. Our guys came together tonight and I am very proud of their hustle and effort."
Quinn would finish with a season-high 21 points and add a game-high seven assists to pace Tulsa, while Butler came off the bench to score 20 points.
"Our youth gives our team energy, and we are lucky to have them and for them to share their experience with the rest of the team," Rajakovic said. "They had great games tonight, but I think their best games are ahead of them."
Tulsa never trailed in the second half, but Austin (12-10) would pull within 79-75 on a jumper by Jamarr Sanders with 7:53 to play. Butler would respond with a long jumper to grab back the momentum and force a Toro timeout with 6:39 left.
Quinn would then take his turn in the scoring spotlight, hitting five of Tulsa's next six points to help the 66ers take an 87-79 lead and force another Austin timeout with 3:52 to play.
Tulsa used some big plays at the end of the first and second quarters to build a 55-47 advantage at halftime. The 66ers used an 11-4 spurt to close the second half to grab momentum heading into the locker room, with Butler chipping in five of those points.
Butler would also play a role in a flurry of 66er scoring to conclude the first quarter. The 11-year NBA veteran hit a 3-pointer with 1.8 seconds left in the period, then Dominique Sutton stole the ensuing inbounds pass at midcourt and hit a desperation 3-pointer just before the buzzer, pushing the Tulsa lead to 29-24 heading into the second quarter.
Original Print Headline: Veterans lead 66ers past Austin
Tulsa 66er's No.9 Chris Quinn tries to get around Austin Toro's No.7 Tyler Wilkerson during the basketball game in Bixby on Saturday. JAMES GIBBARD/Tulsa World