Stellar Shooting Propels Oklahoma City Blue over Sioux Falls Skyforce
A blazing performance by the Oklahoma City Blue led to a big win over the Sioux Falls Skyforce 138-119 Saturday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Mid-season divisional supremacy was a subtext to the contest as Oklahoma City (20-9) and Sioux Falls (20-9) now share the top slot. Coach Nevada Smith says for the full 48 minutes, the defense was not nearly good enough.
“It was just wide open corner threes. When you lose Reggie Williams, it’s going in. We didn’t do a good job guarding the ball or make the effort to close out after helping on the ball screens. Good players in this league are going to make those shots.”
Oklahoma City scored the first 10 points of the first half to grab the lead. Only a tie game at 72 in the third and a two-point edge early in the fourth were the only times Sioux Falls threatened in the second half.
Skyforce forward Henry Walker tried to match the Blue from long range by hitting 7 of 14 attempts. However, Walker agreed that the defense needs to improve.
“We didn’t guard tonight at all. We let a team that doesn’t play anywhere near our pace score over 130 points.”
In one of the most productive efforts you will ever see, the Blue shot 15 of 21 (71 percent) from behind the arc and 61 percent overall. Daniel Hamilton compiled a solid 25 points, 7 assists and 7 rebounds to lead the visitors, Dakari Johnson put up 21 points and 9 boards while the aforementioned Williams finished with 20 points.
All of Walker’s 21 points came from long range for the Skyforce. Meanwhile Keith Benson got most of his point production in close with 23 tallies with 8 rebounds and 6 blocks. Patrick Miller kept his torrid stretch going with 22 points, 9 assists and 6 steals.
These two teams will battle again in a couple days. The Blue will hang in Sioux Falls until Tuesday night for round two.