In a race to see who could get to 24 wins first, the Sioux Falls Skyforce broke the tape while downing the Maine Red Claws 127-107 Friday night.

Two segments of the game defined the outcome. Firstly the Skyforce (24-17) seized the lead in the middle of the second quarter by hitting 17 of 25 from the floor for the entire 12 minute span. The outburst mitigated Maine’s success as they were 11 for 21. and the two teams combined for 75 points.

The Red Claws (23-16) were unable to sustain that pace and were doomed by a 16-1 Skyforce push in the third quarter to break the game open. The game was never closer than 15 points for the rest of the contest.

A franchise record was also set tonight for the Skyforce with the fewest turnovers ever in a game by only committing three. The previous low was five which was achieved on three previous occasions. Head Coach Nevada Smith was astounded by the accomplishment.

“That’s an insane number. It was because of our defense. We got stops, long rebounds, easy plays in transition, drive and kicks plus wide open threes. It was a good night of offense.

One more offensive highlight featured all eleven players that saw action for Sioux Falls got an assist. Three of them came from guard Ike Nwamu off the bench.

“It’s a testament to staying together in every facet of the game. Starting with defense we had to trust each other on our rotations and help situations. On offense we took the right shots at the right time and created opportunities for each other.”

Notching his 26th double-double of the season, Keith Benson scored 23 and grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked three shots. Right behind was Bubu Palo with 22 points and seven assists. A double-double for Denver Nuggets assignee Malik Beasley of 16 points and 11 rebounds plus Nwamu’s 11 points and seven rebounds off the bench proved fruitful.

For Maine, six players scored ten or more including the “big three” of Jalen Jones (20 points), Abdel Nader (14 points) and Marcus Georges-Hunt (11 points). The Red Claws had an assignee from the Celtics providing 12 point 10 assists and 7 rebounds.

Saturday night the Windy City Bulls will host the Skyforce. Meanwhile Maine will cool their heels for an extra day before tangling with the Iowa Energy in Des Moines.

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