Skyforce Beat Spurs (D-League Edition) to Win Third Straight
It wasn’t exactly a waltz across Texas, but the Sioux Falls Skyforce finished 3-0 against teams from the Lone Star State with a 117-108 victory over the Austin Spurs in a Saturday night skirmish at the Sanford Pentagon.
Last Saturday the Texas Legends were the first in line to meet demise against the ‘Force, followed by the Christmas Day triumph over Rio Grande Valley. One more laid in wait which turned out to be the biggest challenge of the three.
Austin (10-4) was riding a 10 game win streak heading into the contest and had not lost north of the Red River yet this season. However Sioux Falls (8-7) arguably put together its most complete game of the season in toppling the team formerly named the Toros.
Most of the aggression was applied by the Skyforce forcing 25 turnovers which led to 36 points and got to the free throw line 34 times making 28. Austin controlled the boards by a plus 11 margin and hustled for 28 second chance points.
This time Tyler Johnson grabbed a majority of the spotlight for Sioux Falls by consistently getting inside the paint, creating contact and distributing after drawing the defense. Johnson led the scoring with 25 points including 11-14 from the charity stripe with 7 assists. It's good viewing which you can catch above.
Scotty Hopson came in a close second providing a spark off the bench with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Afterward teammate Henry Walker praised his efforts. “(Hopson) is a special player. He’s gifted on offense as a guy that can score in a lot of ways and he’s bringing it on the defensive end, too. He played a gutsy game and he helped us get this win tonight.” See what Walker is talking about down under.
Khem Birch did his part by scoring 18 with 7 rebounds and 3 blocks and Larry Drew II contributed the only double-double in the game (14 points, 12 assists). As for Walker, he is just starting to recover from tendonitis in his right foot and his 14 points in 19 minutes was about the limit of his current abilities. “I’m still shaking the cobwebs off. Nowhere near what I could be right now. The more I play the more comfortable I’ll get,” which should make future opponents a little uncomfortable.
For the Spurs JaMychal Green was 8 of 11 from the floor in the first half, but may not have been at full speed in the second half as he finished with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Former Indiana Pacer Orlando Johnson tallied 20 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Jarell Eddie missed the last game due to injury, but found his three point stroke on 4-7 shooting to finish with 17 points.
A quick turnaround is coming for Austin as Sunday night means a date with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants. Meanwhile Sioux Falls is done for 2014 and will play New Year’s Day in Grand Rapids, Michigan against the Drive.
Thinking a little JaMychal Green of the Spurs is worthy of your time. Take a look.