New Members Step Up For Sioux Falls Skyforce
Most NBA Development League games play out in this fashion. Teams stay within striking distance through three quarters then the team that executes in the final 12 minutes captures the win. That team that emerged victorious was the Sioux Falls Skyforce as they topped the Reno Bighorns 116-109 Friday night at Reno Events Center.
The two teams played within 5-8 points of each other all game long. The contest was tied at the end of the 1st and 3rd quarters. Even with under a minute left, the teams were separated by one point. At this crucial juncture the margin for error is slim, but the dividends for stepping up could send you to the NBA.
Enter Skyforce guard Donald Sloan, freshly acquired after donning a uniform for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Already with 18 points on the night and his team leading by a single point, Sloan connects on a jumper to push the lead to three. After an offensive foul by Walker Russell, Jr., it was two more free throws for Sloan to cap his first D-League game of the season with 22 points and 5 rebounds. Sloan made a good first impression.
Sloan was acquired on Thursday from Erie along with swingman Mychel Thompson and both provided immediate return on investment. Thompson hit four three pointers and scored 19 overall. Scoring leader for the Skyforce was Demetris Nichols and NBA assignee Dexter Pittman tallied 18 points. Picture subject above Mark Tyndale turned 26 years old on game day and the birthday boy captured 10 rebounds. Reno got six players to score double figures with the most coming from Marcus Landry who had 20 along with 9 boards.
The Skyforce (9-6) will have a brief junket to Los Angeles to play the D-Fenders Saturday night then return to Reno for the D-League Showcase, which starts Monday. Reno (4-8) hosts the Iowa Energy in part two of back-to-back weekend games.