Both teams had missing parts, but the Sioux Falls Skyforce solved the puzzle by rolling past the South Bay Lakers 152-112 on Friday night at the Sanford Pentagon.

Guards DeAndre Liggins and Joel Berry II are representing their country for USA Basketball during FIBA qualifying. Duncan Robinson was on the roster for the Miami Heat for their win over the Chicago Bulls. Four South Bay players are currently dealing with ailments which left them with 8 healthy players for the Friday game. Sioux Falls had ten good bodies who all made significant contributions.

Leading the way for Sioux Falls (8-1) was Rodney Purvis who continues his hot shooting by knocking down 8 of 14 shots from long range and piled up 36 points. Next in line was Raphiael Putney with 24.

Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith acknowledged that their pressure on the Lakers (2-7) forced 29 turnovers which led to a lot of good things happening.

“I think we did a good job of pressuring the basketball and being in shrink spots and making them see a bunch of bodies. We have quick hands and we were able to get some steals when they drove past us.”

Skyforce guard Malik Newman scored 18 points off the bench and noted that the pace was extremely fast.

“It’s definitely one of the fastest paces that we have played (this year). We credit our coaching staff because our practices lately have prepared us for moments like this.”

Only one of the eight Laker players didn’t score at least ten points. Guard Alex Caruso hit three from long distance and finished with 22 points to lead the way while Marcus Allen finished strong to score 18 points.

It’s the second time in the 30 seasons of Skyforce history that the team had scored at least 150 points. The first being the hallmark 158-88 win over Omaha on December 13, 1994. They did come close later that season hitting 149 points on March 14, 1995 in a win over the Fort Wayne Fury. More recently, Sioux Falls piled up 148 points in a victory against the Texas Legends on January 6, 2017.

Saturday night will find the two teams locking horns in the only back-to-back battle on consecutive night sequence for the Skyforce this season.

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