ORLANDO, March 6, 2021 – The Oklahoma City Blue (8-7) fell to the Santa Cruz Warriors (11-4), 113-103, in overtime on Saturday to wrap the 2021 regular season.
Thunder two-way player Moses Brown led the way for Oklahoma City with his 11th double-double of 18 points and 13 rebounds while swatting two steals and two blocks.
The teams traded buckets and the lead to finish the game. With under two minutes to go, up three, Isaiah Reese hit a long three to extend the Warriors 101-95 advantage. The Blue battled back with Cleveland’s steal and score and Woolridge’s tip-in to tie it at 103-all and send the game to overtime where Santa Cruz scored 10 straight points to win the game.
“In these tight moments, all you have is your habits,” Head Coach Grant Gibbs said. “All you have is your fundamentals. It’s simple things that you have to do at the highest level. It’s fundamentals, but it’s at the highest level at that point, and ability to execute. Credit to those guys, everyone individually for getting that done, but we didn’t execute well enough in overtime.”
Oklahoma City jumped out to an 11-2 lead to start the game and took the quarter with a 26-24 advantage. With 4:02 left in the second, Isaiah Brown knocked down a three to give the Warriors their first lead of the game. Santa Cruz outscored Oklahoma City 29-20 in the second quarter to take a seven-point lead into the break.
The Blue scored the first seven points of the third to tie the game at 53. After Santa Cruz went up five, Phil Booth knocked down his third three of the game to tie the score again at 58. Two possessions later, Zavier Simpson drew a foul and knocked down a free throw to give the Blue the lead. On the ensuing possession, Antonius Cleveland stepped into the passing lane for a steal to cap off an 11-2 run with a dunk. The Warriors responded as their lead stretched back to seven. For the Blue, Rob Edwards knocked down a three from top of the key to stop the run, and Ryan Woolridge drained a three to end the quarter to bring the game within three, 76-79.
Six Oklahoma City players scored in double figures as Phil Booth shot 4-for-9 from beyond the arc en route to a 14-point game to go with seven assists and six rebounds. Off the bench, Woolridge scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting in addition to his seven rebounds and four assists.
Reese led the Warriors with a 29-point, 11-assist double-double, shooting 12-of-17 from the floor and 5-of-6 from three-point range.