Waves edge Lightning 108-107 to force Game 3
Martin, Murray score 24 but L.A. comes up short
Mike Johnson grabbed an offensive rebound and hit two free throws with 15.5 seconds remaining Sunday night, lifting the Oregon Waves to a 108-107 pro basketball victory over the L.A. Lightning in Game 2 of the IBL Finals at Cal Lutheran.
L.A.'s Darrick Martin, a left-handed point guard, missed a right-handed shot from just inside the free-throw line with one second left.
Robert Day scored 18 of his game-high 32 points for Oregon (16-8) in the third quarter, which ended with the Waves ahead 78-72. Day hit 8-of-14 from 3-point range and also had nine rebounds, four assists and three steals before fouling out with 3:04 to play.
Martin and Lamond Murray topped the Lightning (17-5) with 24 points apiece. Murray tallied 16 of his points in the final quarter, including a slam dunk that gave L.A. a 102-100 lead with 2:39 remaining.
The decisive Game 3 will take place on Tuesday at Cal Lutheran with the tip set for 7 p.m. The Lightning won Game 1 on Saturday 142-131 behind 33 points from Murray.
Toby Bailey added 20 points, five rebounds and seven assists for L.A., which scored a season-low 107 and had its seven-game home win streak snapped.
"I thought they did a great job but we beat ourselves down the stretch," said Bryon Russell, a former Utah Jazz great who played in three NBA Finals and finished with 10 points and six rebounds. "We made the game difficult. We'll get a good day off and come back Tuesday ready to play."
Bailey hit a triple to pull the Lightning within one, 106-105, with 1:10 remaining. Russell took a charge from David Lucas, who fouled out with 45.5 seconds to go. Martin drove the right side for a layup that gave the Lightning their final lead at 107-106.
"We had a slow start and a couple of their guys hit some shots to keep them in the game," said Martin, a 13-year NBA veteran who hit 9-14 shots and scored 21 of his 24 points in the second half. "Championships are earned. We're all professionals and know that you have to earn something if you really want it."
Did Martin think he was fouled on the potential game-winning shot?
"I couldn't get my left hand on the ball because the guy had my left hand," he stated. "That's why I shot it right-handed but it's no big deal. I got a shot and that's probably the one time I miss that shot."
Day hit a 19-foot buzzer-beater to give the Waves a 44-42 halftime lead. The Lightning trailed by seven early in the third before Martin hit a long jumper to put the home team ahead 59-58.
Day canned a trio of treys in the final 2:27 of the third quarter to put the Waves up 78-72 entering the fourth.
Isaiah Fox had 16 points and seven rebounds for the Waves while Johnson tallied 15 points and eight boards. David Jackson, who had 26 points in Game 1, was held to nine points on 2-17 shooting.
"They play hard," said Martin. "They're probably the second-best team in the league besides us as far as competing night-in and night-out. They don't have any NBA players on their team (the Lightning have six former NBA players) but they understand how to play hard and compete."
Trailing by one with 21 seconds left, Lamar Hurd missed a long jumper for Oregon and Mike Johnson misfired on a follow shot. Fox grabbed another offensive rebound on the left side and was fouled by Murray, setting up the game-winning free throws.
"Our energy level wasn't the same (as Saturday night) and it's tough to beat a team two nights in a row," said L.A. coach Ron Quarterman. "The big play was when we did not secure that last defensive rebound.
"That's the way the ball bounces. We just have to suck it up and get ready for Tuesday night."
Tickets for Tuesday's Game 3 are available at Ticketmaster.com or by calling 800-745-3000.