Rookie Scores Fifty Sending Skyforce to Lopsided Loss
A superb night for rookie Jabari Brown and a subpar second half for the Skyforce leads to a 124-99 Saturday night road triumph for the Los Angeles D-Fenders.
Brown hit the first and last buckets of the game plus many more in between on his way to 50 points for the player who finished his college career at Missouri less than a year ago. While with the Tigers in his Junior campaign, the 6-4 guard scored almost 700 points. Leaving school early, Brown caught the Los Angeles Lakers’ attention for an invite to camp as a free agent. Diverted to the D-Fenders during the preseason, the Oakland native has not disappointed. Against the Skyforce his 15-22 performance from the floor (with 6 from downtown) and 14-17 from the line boosted the D-Fenders (7-15) to their second road win of the year. You've got to see it. Seriously. Oh by the way, teammate Vander Blue nearly completed a triple-double of 23 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists.
Sioux Falls (10-10) led at half by 2, but struggled to regain the fire both offensively and defensively in the final 24 minutes. Guard Tyler Johnson led the way with 19 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists, but was direct in his assessment of why the D-Fenders were victorious. “They just outplayed us. If you go out there and don’t play defense, you don’t have a chance. I don’t think we were on the same page today. Just when you think you’ve got it down, you go out and play a game like this. We’ll watch some film and see where we can do better.” The silver lining for Johnson may be that the Miami Heat may have need of his services. His name has been circulating recently to answer the need as a backup for Dwayne Wade. Center Khem Birch tallied 14 points and 7 rebounds as guard Larry Drew II notched another double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.
The Skyforce home stand continues Tuesday when the Erie BayHawks arrive while the D-Fenders will play Tuesday as well in Oklahoma City against the Blue.