Trey Johnson scored 24 points as the Bakersfield Jam beat the Tulsa 66ers 104-101 in its season opener at the Jam Events Center on Friday night.
Trailing by one with just 1:15 remaining Jeremy Wise drove hard to the net getting the bucket and the foul as the Jam pulled ahead 99-97, then extended its lead as Wise dished off a pass to Marques Blakely who finished it off with the two-handed jam.
Tulsa (0-1) narrowed the deficit to three but another pair of Wise free throws and one from Kenny Taylor sealed the deal.
The Jam (1-0) was 21-for-30 at the line for 70 percent while shooting 54.4 percent from the field.
"Jeremy hit some huge free throws at the end, and made some big plays for us down the stretch," Jam coach Will Voigt said. "We're fortunate to have two clutch guards that can deliver, and it's no secret that Trey and Jeremy are going to be our closers, and they got the job done tonight."
The Jam fell behind early in the first quarter as Tulsa went on a 9-2 run, but stormed back taking its first lead of the a game with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter.
Patrick Mutumbo drained a 3-pointer to begin the second as Bakersfield opened it largest lead of the contest, 31-23.
The teams traded baskets for most of the second period until Tulsa went on a 12-6 run, tying it at 45 as the teams headed into the locker room at the half.
Both teams turned it up in the second half exchanging leads 13 times.
Wise finished with 17 points on 5-of-10 shooting and 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
Marcus Lewis led the Sixers with 23 points, while Larry Owens, Robert Vaden, and Tweety Carter all had 16.
"We short really well tonight and got whatever we wanted, but yet we had to eke it out at the end because we failed to hold onto the ball," Voigt said referring to the Jams 23 turnovers, "Hopefully we got some of kinks worked out and will be better prepared for tomorrow night's game."