Sioux Falls Skyforce Reign Supreme in Weekend Sweep
A third quarter spurt proved decisive as the Sioux Falls Skyforce topped the Texas Legends 130-118 Saturday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Two parts of this Sioux Falls (16-5) win are quite significant starting with 20 consecutive regular season home victories. This accomplishment has only happened one other time in the NBA Development League. The Idaho Stampede turned the trick over the course of two seasons in 2007-08 and 2008-09.
Secondly, it’s only the third time the Skyforce have strung together consecutive games of 130 points or more. The first time was in March of 1991 with wins over Omaha (137-129) and Yakima (132-118). Next was in 1995 when it happened in three straight games. Sioux Falls lost to the Rockford Lightning 142-138 on March 12, blew out the Fort Wayne Fury 149-113 two days later, then fell in overtime to the Pittsburgh Piranhas 139-134 on St. Patrick’s Day. It was almost four in a row in a revenge win over Rockford on March 20, 129-127.
The night before came in blowout fashion, but this time Texas (10-9) was able to hold tight until the fourth quarter. Skyforce guard Ike Nwamu who ended with 16 points noticed the increased focus from the visitors.
“This time they definitely came out with more energy. You could tell the loss from the previous night lit a fire under them. We had to get adjusted to that. (During that run in the 4th quarter) we were able to exploit some mismatches mostly on the offensive end and hang tough defensively.”
Tied at 88 late in the third quarter, Sioux Falls manufactured three straight buckets in the last 50 seconds to build a lead the Legends could not overcome. Neither team had an edge of more than seven points prior to that crucial stretch.
Keith Benson again served notice that he is due for an audition in the Association with 30 points, 11 rebounds and one block. Okaro White added 23 points and Malik Beasley on assignment from the Denver Nuggets had 21 tallies.
The NBADL’s top scorer in Manny Harris paced the Legends with 26 points plus 9 rebounds and 5 steals. Former NBA veteran Gary Neal who is working his way back from a serious injury was right behind with 24 counters.
Both teams are back on the court Wednesday at different locations in Texas. The Legends host the Iowa Energy at Dr. Pepper Arena while Sioux Falls will be farther south in Hidalgo to face the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.