SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
With their backs against the wall and hopes of a playoff berth threatened, the Reno Bighorns used a dominant fourth-quarter effort to collect a key 96-85 come-from-behind victory over the Maine Red Claws Saturday night in front of a raucous crowd in the Reno Events Center.
The victory marked Reno’s fourth straight, and put the Bighorns (25-22) in a virtual tie with the Tulsa 66ers for the eighth and final NBA D-League playoff spot. Tulsa plays Sunday, then the Bighorns and 66ers will meet on Monday in the Reno Events Center with significant playoff implications on the line.
Maine (27-21) took a four-point lead into the break, and the Red Claws would grow the advantage to as many as 10 in the third quarter. But the Bighorns steadily carved into the Maine advantage, eventually taking the lead with 10:18 remaining in the ballgame.
The Red Claws would regain the lead, 73-70, with just less than nine minutes to play, but the Bighorns would go on a 13-0 run to take a lead they would not relinquish, sealing the weekend sweep.
Desmon Farmer led all scorers with 22 points for Reno. Richie Frahm and D.J. Strawberry each collected 12 points off the bench. Doug Thomas finished with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Paul Davis and Maurice Ager shared the scoring lead for Maine with 17 points apiece. Kurt Looby kicked-in 10 points and 12 boards for the game’s lone double-double.
After taking Sunday off, the Bighorns will get right back at it on Monday night in the most pivotal game of the season. Reno will take on Tulsa, with both teams battling for a spot in the playoffs. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. in the Reno Events Center. Tickets are on-sale now at www.RenoBighorns.com, the Reno Events Center Box Office, Silver Legacy Box Office, or by visiting any Northern Nevada Ticketmaster location or Web site.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2009-10 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Maine Red Claws and the Springfield Armor. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.