What a run it was. But for the first-year Canton Charge, that run has come to an end. That’s because the Charge fell to the Austin Toros by a 90-68 count in the third and deciding game of the D-League semifinals Sunday in Austin. The Toros came back to the final two games.
Austin now meets the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the D-League championship series. The D-Fenders are coached by Brecksville High product and former NBA coach Eric Musselman, the son of former Cavs coach Bill Musselman.
Here’s the wrap-up from the Charge:
Canton was led by Dante Milligan’s double-double of 12 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and one block in 30 minutes. Antoine Agudio had 16 points and two steals in 41 minutes. Frank Hassell supplied six points, 12 rebounds and a block in just 18 minutes off the bench. Kyle Gibson added 10 points in 32 minutes.
Austin’s Julian Wright had a double-double with a game-high 21 points and 10 rebounds with four blocks in 33 minutes. Eric Dawson added a double-double of his own with 14 points, 17 rebounds and three blocks in 28 minutes. Cory Joseph had 15 points, five rebounds, six assists and two steals in 30 minutes. The Toros had a strong presence in the paint on both ends of the floor with 53 team rebounds and nine team blocks.
The Charge finished the regular season at 27-23 and were seeded seventh out of eight teams in the playoffs. They were chosen by the second-seeded Springfield Armor for the opening-round series. Game 1saw Canton defend their home court with a 108-93 victory. Springfield retaliated in Game Two by outlasting the Charge in overtime, 125-116. The very next night, the Charge won their first-ever playoff series and advanced to the semifinal round by a margin of 115-109.
The Charge again defended their home court in the second round by fighting back to force the game to overtime and outlasting the Toros 112-109. In Austin for Game Two, the Toros held on for a 114-108 win before finishing off the series the next night at home. Canton is one of eight first-year teams in the NBA Development League to advance to the postseason and one of four to win a playoff series.