SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Santa Cruz Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Blue 121-120 on Wednesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals in front of the franchise’s 31st consecutive sellout crowd at Kaiser Permanente Arena (regular season and playoffs combined). The Warriors own a 1-0 lead over the Blue in the best-of-three playoff series.
Jabari Brown led all scorers with 36 points off the bench for the Warriors, scoring 12 of his points on free throws (12-of-16 FT), which matches a Santa Cruz franchise postseason record for free throws made (Jeremy Tyler on 4/10/13). Chris Obekpa tallied a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go with an NBA D-League postseason record-tying eight blocks (Greg Stiemsma on 4/9/10). Damian Jones, currently on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, finished with 14 points and six rebounds, while Alex Hamilton contributed 18 points, six rebounds and five assists.
The Blue were paced by Dakari Johnson, who notched a double-double with 28 points and 11 rebounds. Josh Huestis, currently on assignment from the Oklahoma City Thunder, contributed 26 points to go with nine rebounds, while Reggie Williams and Alex Caruso both finished with 16 points.
The Warriors led by as many as 16 points in the second quarter and entered halftime with a 14-point advantage, but Oklahoma City outscored Santa Cruz 40-34 in the third frame and took the lead on a 15-0 run over a three-minute stretch in the fourth quarter. The Warriors and Blue exchanged the lead four times in the ensuing minutes, with Obekpa providing the go-ahead dunk with 1:30 remaining to give the Warriors the lead for good.
The Santa Cruz Warriors will travel to Oklahoma City to face the Blue in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals on Saturday, April 8 at 5:00 p.m. (PDT). Fans can watch the game on Facebook Live by visiting the Santa Cruz Warriors’ Facebook page at tip-off.
Single-game tickets for the Warriors’ next home game of the 2017 NBA D-League Playoffs, presented by Kaiser Permanente, will go on sale tomorrow, April 6, at 4:00 p.m. (PDT). Fans can purchase tickets at the Santa Cruz Warriors’ headquarters at 903 Pacific Avenue, online at www.santacruzbasketball.com or over the phone at (831) 713-4400.