GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Tony Mitchell threw down a thunderous dunk late in the game to cap off a big second half as the Grand Rapids Drive won its home opener.
Mitchell, a forward on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in a 127-99 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders in the first home game in team history on Wednesday night in front of 3,300 fans.
“This was a great atmosphere,” Mitchell said. “Great fans and a great arena. A-plus all the way.”
Willie Reed had 22 points to lead seven Drive players in double figures in scoring. Adonis Thomas had 21 points, followed by L.D. Williams (18), Lorenzo Brown (16), Mitchell (12), Ben Hansbrough (10) and Brandon Fields (10).
The Drive (2-3) led 59-56 at halftime but stretched the lead quickly after Willie Reed had a put-back dunk to put the Drive up 83-64 with 3:53 left in the third. Grand Rapids stretched the lead to as many 30 points late in the game.
Roscoe Smith scored 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead the D-Fenders, who fall to 1-6. Guard Manny Harris, who played at the University of Michigan, finished with 18 points.
Mitchell, who was assigned to Grand Rapids earlier in the day, scored the first points of the game, making 1-of-2 free throws 17 seconds into the game. The 6-foot-8 forward, who played 21 games with the Pistons last season, also scored the first field goal of the game for the Drive.