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Bighorns clinch playoff berth with 114-106 win over T-Birds

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

The Reno Bighorns officially punched their ticket to the postseason Saturday night, topping Albuquerque 114-106 in the Reno Events Center to advance to the NBA D-League playoffs for the first time in franchise history.

Reno will face-off with the Tulsa 66ers at home at 4 p.m. Sunday in the regular season finale. Reno’s first-round playoff opponent and game date will be determined following the conclusion of the regular season. The Bighorns’ first playoff game will be played in the Reno Events Center, and ticket details will be available as soon as the playoff seedings are determined.

After a dominant effort against Albuquerque (18-32) on Friday night, the Bighorns (27-22) had to withstand a fourth-quarter Thunderbirds rally to secure the victory on Saturday. Reno scored 34 points in the second and third quarters on Saturday to build a cushion that Albuquerque couldn’t overcome.

Saturday’s outcome marked Reno’s sixth-straight victory and Albuquerque’s 10th-straight loss.

Desmon Farmer led six Bighorns in double figures with 26 points and 10 assists. All four Reno reserves that entered the game finished in double figures, headed by an 18-point, 10-rebound effort for Cezary Trybanski.

Albuquerque was paced by 25 points from Antoine Agudio and 18 points off the bench by Anthony Danridge. The Thunderbirds connected on 47.8 percent of their three-point attempts and matched Reno with 40 rebounds on the night.

The Bighorns conclude the regular season on Sunday at 4 p.m. in the Reno Events Center. In addition to all tickets from Monday’s postponed game being honored at the door, fans can purchase any bowl seat for just $5. All area children are invited to a special Easter Egg Hunt beginning at 2:30 p.m., and as with all Sunday games, the contest will feature $1 hot dogs all game long. 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.