Playing the underdog role against the Los Angeles D-Fenders, the Austin Toros put up a tough fight, but failed to hang on, losing Game 1 of their Best-of-Three Finals series against the D-Fenders 109-101 in overtime.
Los Angeles, which had the league's best regular-season record, scored the first eight points in overtime and never looked back. The Toros on the other hand, looked rattled in the final minutes of regulation and never found a groove in the extra period.
Elijah Millsap led the D-Fenders with 33 points and 10 rebounds, Malcolm Thomas added 19 points and hauled down 25 boards, while Mardy Collins chipped in 16 points.
The Toros had a more balance scoring attack.
Terrance Woodbury scored 23 points, Justin Dentmon, the league MVP, added 18 points but made just 5-of-15 shots from the field.
San Antonio Spurs rookie Cory Joseph had 16 points, eight assists and four rebounds, Julian Wright added 15 points, and Carldell Johnson scored 12 points.
The Toros suffered a big blow early in the game, when they lost starting center Eric Dawson to a mild concussion just 35 seconds into the first quarter but managed to take a 42-39 lead at halftime.
The D-Fenders controlled the boards grabbing 13 rebounds in the third period, but Austin rode Dentmon on offense and six straight points from Wright helped preserve a 66-64 advantage after three quarters.
Austin built a 93-88 lead in the fourth quarter, but went on to a 5-0 run that sent the game into the extra period.
Game 2 of the championship series is on Thursday in Los Angeles, Game will be on Saturday, if necessary.
(Photo via NBA.com)