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Santa Cruz Warriors: Santa Cruz advances to D-League Finals in back-to-back years

Modified: Tuesday, Apr 22nd, 2014

The Santa Cruz Warriors are back where they want to be.

Thanks to a 15-point fourth quarter from Seth Curry and a 29-point output from Lance Goulbourne, Santa Cruz is in the NBA D-League Finals for the second year in a row after beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 147-128 in the deciding Game 3 of the semifinals.

Curry finished with 28 points and eight assists, but with the Vipers trying to mount a comeback in the final frame he put the game away.

With the lead down to 12 points Curry matched the Vipers shots by hitting jumpers, layups and 3-pointers, the biggest coming with 5 minutes, and 41 seconds left in the game to give them the 19-point lead.

The Vipers did trim the lead back to 12, but it was too little too late and the Warriors converted on easy buckets and free throws to clinch the NBA D-League Finals appearance.

Goulbourne added 14 rebounds to give him a double-double and Cam Jones chimed in with 24 points, six assists and seven rebounds putting away his 15-point performance from the Game 2 loss -- Curry had just seven in Monday’s loss.

Mychel Thompson had 25 points off the bench.

Isaiah Canaan led all scorers with 35 points hitting eight 3-point shots, including two late in the fourth to help the Vipers close to within 12 with 3:59 left, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the deficit.

Santa Cruz will now host the Fort Wayne Mad Ants Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in Game 1 of the Finals at Kaiser Permanente Arena.

It will be the final game in Santa Cruz this season.

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