Another Big Fourth Quarter Skyforce Rally Falls Short in Loss To D-Fenders
Making up 11 points in less than 3 minutes is a lot to ask and the Skyforce were nearly up to the task. Nonetheless the Los Angeles D-Fenders held off Sioux Falls 122-120 at the Toyota Sports Center Thursday night.
Jordan Clarkson scored a team-high 23 points, while grabbing seven rebounds and handing out seven assists for the D-Fenders (4-10). Vander Blue followed suit, tallying 22 points, six rebounds and three assists.
After being down by double digits most of the game, the Sioux Falls deficit was a point with the ball and 10 seconds remaining. Larry Drew II drove the lane and the came ball free in the waning moments. A subsequent foul put Jabari Brown on the line with 4 seconds left who made one of two free throws. Drew had the opportunity to make amends on a three point attempt at the top of the key which spun around the cylinder as time expired.
The Skyforce (5-7) were led by Tyler Johnson with 24 points and four rebounds plus an astounding putback dunk which you can see above. Khem Birch recorded a double-double with 20 points and 19 rebounds (11 offensive) plus 6 blocks. The Birch footage is below. Drew recorded a double-double with 10 points and 14 assists with 6 rebounds. Overall, seven Sioux Falls players finished with double digit scoring efforts. Also for the second straight contest, the Skyforce lit the scoreboard for over 40 points in the final quarter (44).
Los Angeles shot .500 from the field, compared to .436 for Sioux Falls. The D-Fenders recorded 76 points in the paint, while the Skyforce finished with 54. Los Angeles grabbed 59 rebounds compared to 45 for Sioux Falls.
The D-Fenders are back in action on Friday, December 20th hosting the Reno Bighorns. Sioux Falls will play on Saturday night, December 21st at the Texas Legends before returning home for the Christmas night contest with Rio Grande Valley.