D-League Western Conference All-Star Mustafa Shakur led all scorers with 26 points, as the Tulsa 66ers never trailed and defeated the Los Angeles D-Fenders 102-90 Wednesday at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, CA. The 66ers shot 55.6 percent (40-72) for the game, while holding the D-Fenders to 41.7 percent (35-84) from the field.
DeVon Hardin started the game with six straight points for the 66ers, as they broke out to a 17-4 lead with 6:16 remaining in the first quarter. Four Tulsa turnovers helped the D-Fenders get to within five at 20-15 after an 11-3 run following a Diamon Simpson dunk with 2:28 left. But two Moses Ehambe three-pointers extended the 66ers lead back to 11 points as they took a 28-17 advantage into the break. Shakur led the 66ers with nine first quarter points, as they shot 60 percent from the field, while the D-Fenders shot 7-of-17 in the first quarter.
A Shakur steal and dunk capped an 8-2 run for the 66ers that started the second quarter, putting Tulsa ahead 36-19 with 9:05 remaining in the first half. Both teams traded baskets the remainder of the quarter, as the 66ers took a 58-40 edge into halftime. Deron Washington led the 66ers with 10 second quarter points, as they shot 55 percent and 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the period. Frank Robinson had seven points in the quarter for the D-Fenders, as they shot 40.9 percent (9-for-22).
Early in the third quarter, as the D-Fenders worked their way to within 15 points, a three-pointer by Larry Owens sparked an 11-4 run by Tulsa, capped by another Owens three to push their lead out to 71-49 with 7:49 remaining in the period. A Robinson jumper for the D-Fenders initiated a 6-0 run that moved Los Angeles to within 14 at 75-61 with 3:53 left in the quarter, but a Shakur jump shot and Hardin lay-in for the 66ers pushed their lead back to 18. Tulsa took an 83-69 advantage into the fourth quarter. Both teams turned the ball over three times in the quarter, as Joe Crawford scored nine points in the period and the D-Fenders shot 12-for-18 from the field. Shakur scored seven points as the 66ers shot 10-for-17.
The D-Fenders were able to get within 11 points midway through the fourth quarter, but two Ehambe three-pointers for the 66ers curbed the charge and kept the game out of reach. Ehambe scored 10 fourth quarter points, as the 66ers shot 7-for-15 and committed six turnovers in the period. The D-Fenders grabbed 15 rebounds in the period, turned the ball over only two times but shot 7-for-27 in the fourth quarter.
Led by Shakur, the 66ers (16-14) swept the season series against the D-Fenders with five players in double-digit scoring. Ehambe finished with 22 points off the bench, while Washington added 18 points. Owens had 17 points, and five assists, while Hardin had 11 points. Latavious Williams finished with 12 rebounds, to go along with six points, three steals and two blocks.
The D-Fenders fell to 9-17 on the season, led by Joe Crawford with 22 points. Simpson finished with a double-double of 15 points and 11 rebounds, including shooting 11-of-12 from the free throw line. Robinson added 14 points, James Wright had 12, and Ryan Forehan-Kelly had 11 points off the bench.
Both teams will break for this weekend’s All-Star events in Dallas, TX in association with All-Star Weekend. Watch 66ers guard Mustafa Shakur participate in the Haier Shooting Stars competition and forward Deron Washington compete in the slam dunk contest on Friday, Feb. 12 live online at nba.com from 8-9 p.m. . Shakur will then play in the D-League All-Star Game live on TV at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13.
The 66ers next game is Kids Day on Thursday, Feb. 18 at 11 a.m. when they face the Maine Red Claws.