DeAndre Liggins scored 20 second-half points with 5-for-5 shooting from 3-point range to help lift the Tulsa 66ers past the Canton Charge, 100-98, on Sunday at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in Canton, Ohio. With the Game 3 win, the 66ers advance to the NBA D-League Semifinals for the third time in the past four seasons.
On assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder, Liggins scored 24 total points with seven rebounds and three assists. Thunder forward Perry Jones posted 20 points and seven rebounds and fellow assignee Jeremy Lamb collected 14 points and eight boards.
Canton's Kyle Weaver sank a 3-pointer to put the Charge up 94-90 with just over three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter. Liggins responded on the next possession with a 3-point field goal of his own to keep Tulsa in it.
The Charge stretched their lead to 98-95 before yet another Tulsa 3-pointer kept the 66ers fighting, this time it was Rasual Butler with 58 seconds on the clock.
All tied up at 98, Liggins pulled down the rebound after Weaver missed a floating jumper. Liggins rushed down the court and was intentionally fouled by Weaver. The officials determined it was a flagrant 1, sending Liggins to the line for a pair of foul shots with 39 seconds remaining. Liggins made both free throws to give Tulsa a two-point lead.
After Tulsa missed a shot on its possession, Canton inbounded the ball with 10.3 seconds to go. The 66ers defense buckled down and forced an off-balance missed shot to seal the Tulsa win.
"Canton came back and had a great stretch," said Tulsa Head Coach Darko Rajakovic. "We needed an extremely good night like DeAndre had. We needed somebody to push us forward and DeAndre did an amazing job."
The 66ers shot 9-for-13 from 3-point range in the second half.
All five starters scored in double figures with Butler posting 20 points and seven rebounds and Tony Taylor scoring 11 points alongside five assists.
Canton had jumped to an early 19-10 lead midway through the first quarter before Tulsa responded with a 13-4 run to close the frame and tie it at 23. Tulsa outscored Canton 29-21 in the second quarter to build a 52-44 halftime lead.
Jones scored 18 first-half points on 7-for-8 shooting from the field and went 4-for-5 from the free throw line.
The Charge started the second half with a 14-7 run and eventually tied it up at 72. Liggins closed the third quarter by sinking three 3-pointers in the final two minutes to give Tulsa an 81-74 lead heading into the final frame. As a team, the 66ers shot 6-for-7 from behind the arc in the third.
Seventh-seeded Tulsa will face second-seeded Rio Grande Valley in the NBA D-League Semifinals. Game 1 of the best-of-three series will be played at the SpiritBank Event Center. The date and time will be released by the league at a later time.
The 66ers split the season series with RGV, 3-3. The home team won all six matchups.
Tickets are on sale Monday morning at 10 a.m. and start at just $11 and include a free hot dog and soft drink. Fans can be a part of the 66ers postseason run by purchasing tickets on Tulsa66ers.com or by calling the ticket office at (918) 585-8444.