Austin Professional Basketball
Toros Win! Austin brings the NBA D-League Championship back to Texas
The Toros were led by NBA D-League MVP, Justin Dentmon who poured in 30 points on the night to go along with 5 assists and 3 steals. Eric Dawson returned after suffering a concussion in Game 1 to drop a double-double, (21 points and 11 rebounds) on L.A. Julian Wright contributed some late game heroics, grabbing two key offensive rebounds to maintain possession of the ball as the Toros valiantly hung onto the lead in the fouth quarter. Wright finished with 19 points. In all, 6 players scored in double figures for Austin who overcame a 0-1 deficit in the series to sweep L.A. on their home court, winning twice in a row.
“We expected to win every game. We beat one heck of an L.A. D-Fenders team and we did it as a group so I’m really really excited for our guys.”
Mardy Collins scored 31 points for the D-Fenders, but it was not enough as L.A. who set a D-League record for wins faded in the final two games of the playoffs to lose to Austin. While Elijah Milsap had 26 points and 7 rebounds on a sprained ankle for L.A.
The X-factor for the Toros was Brad Wannamaker who exceeded his scoring average by 12 (19 points) to help his team get ahead early in the game. The D-Fenders could not have been ready for the former University of Pittburgh guard to exceed his point average yet again (he scored 15 in Game 2). . Austin got out to an, 11-2 lead and never looked back. The Toros led at halftime, 67-60 behind Dentmon's 19 points. The D-Fenders pulled within 115-110 with 2:41 left, but wouldn't score again as the Toros held on for the victory.
“We expected to win every game,” said Toros head coach Brad Jones. “We beat one heck of an L.A. D-Fenders team and we did it as a group so I’m really really excited for our guys.”
Former and current NBA players, Richard Jefferson and Darvin Ham were at the game Saturday in L.A. as was coach Quin Snyder (current Lakers assistant). The crowd in Los Angeles was smaller than Game 1 in Austin as the Toyota Center capacity is much smaller than the Toros home court at the Cedar Park Center.
The Toros relocated to the Cedar Park Center last season after playing in the Austin Convention Center when they became Austin's first professional basketball team in 2005. After the Columbus Riverdragons first moved the club to Austin and renamed them the Toros, the San Antonio Spurs acquired the team, and Austin became the second franchise to be owned by an NBA team after the Los Angeles Lakers bought the L.A. D-Fenders.
The L.A. D-Fenders came back to the D-League in a big way this season after being inactive last year while the club finalized a permanent new location at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo. L.A. played their home games at the Staples Center, the Lakers' home court since their inception in 2006 before settling on their current home.