The Austin Spurs went into enemy territory on Tuesday for game two of the best of three series and claimed their second NBA G-League championship, defeating the Raptors 905 by a comfortable 22 points.
The 905 took the early lead from the tip with the Spurs coming out cold, missing eight of their first 10 attempts. However, the Spurs closed out the quarter on a 23-6 run led by their bench, scoring 21 of the Spurs’ 28 first quarter points.
The 905 was able to close the gap to start the second half, going on a 7-0 run to cut the margin to a single point, but that was the closest the 905 would get. In the final quarter, it was all Spurs as they extended their lead to as much as 30 points.
As the game began to slip away from the 905, frustration would get the better of them with Kennedy Meeks being assessed a technical foul and an ejection following a hard foul on Canadian, Olivier Hanlan. Meeks finished the game with with 11 points and nine rebounds.
The story of the game was the 905’s inability to knockdown the outside shot, scoring a season low 76 points. During the regular season, the 905 ranked 23rd out of 26 teams in three-point percentage. In this meeting, the 905 struggled mightily, making only two of their 27 total attempts from beyond the arc.
“(We) just weren’t able to make shots,” 905 head coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “One of those nights where the ball just didn’t seem to want to go in the hole from anywhere.”
The 905’s leading scorer was forward, Malcolm Miller, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds. Lorenzo Brown, who was presented the G-League MVP prior to the game, tallied 11 points and 10 assists.
“We had a guy that grew into an MVP,” Stackhouse said of Brown. “I didn’t think he was the MVP at the start of the season, but he grew and helped his team and helped the big club (Toronto Raptors).”
This win for the Spurs marks their second G-League championship in six years with Nick Johnson taking home the Finals MVP, averaging 17 points in the series off the bench. In this final game, Johnson shot 5-of-6 from deep with a +/- of +34. Jeff Ledbetter also contributed with 16 points in just 16 minutes of play on 6-of-8 shooting from the field.
Despite the 905 falling short of becoming back-to-back champions, second year head coach Jerry Stackhouse, was proud off the efforts put forth by his team. The 905 ended the 2017-2018 season with a 34-21 record, including the playoffs.
“I’m proud of all those guys,” Stackhouse said. “I thought they left all they had on the floor. That’s all you can ask for.”
With a large roster turnover from last season’s championship team, there was a question of whether or not the 905 could repeat the type of success they had. Although they were unable to defend their title, Stackhouse along with the rest of the coaching staff and personnel put together another great season, bringing the vision of what the Raptors organization had for this team into fruition.