RENO, NEV.— On the night after former Reno Bighorn Jeremy Lin scored a career-high 38 points against for the New York Knicks against the Los Angeles Lakers, the Bighorns were unable to pull out a victory in a thrilling game against the Lakers D-League affiliate, the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Blake Ahearn, the NBA D-League's leading scorer, scored a season-high 37 points to keep the Bighorns close throughout the game. Andre Emmett had 20 points and eight rebounds while Terrance Thomas had a gritty 16 points and 10 rebounds in the 116-120 loss. Malcolm Thomas led the D-Fenders with 24 points and 12 rebounds.
Both teams had chances to pull away in the fourth quarter, but the game would remain extremely close in the waning minutes. With 11 seconds to go in the game, Zach Graham would score on a put-back layup to pull the Bighorns within two point. After Courtney Fortson missed on one of two free throws, the Bighorns would have a chance to tie with 4.3 seconds remaining. But the D-Fenders held strong and the Bighorns were unable to inbound the ball, resulting in a five second violation.
The Bighorns shot 43.7 percent from the field, compared to an impressive 50.6 percent shooting from the D-Fenders. The Bighorns were able to outrebound the D-Fenders 46 to 35, but the D-Fenders scored the bulk of their points on easy opportunities, with 60 points in the paint compared to the Bighorns 40.
The Bighorns stay in Reno to tip off against the Austin Toros on Tuesday, February 14 at the Reno Events Center. In celebration of Valentine's Day, fans can get purchase a Sweetheart Ticket Deal, which gets them two tickets for the price of one.