Skyforce Drop Consecutive Games for First Time since December in Loss to Spurs
There were only a couple major runs in the contest, but the Austin Spurs made them both to keep the Sioux Falls Skyforce at bay 117-107 at the Sanford Pentagon on Saturday night.
First separation occurred late in the first quarter, as the Spurs (31-16) grouped a run of 11-2 to take a ten point lead which was never relinquished. The Skyforce (25-22) chipped away at the advantage down to 60-57 early in the third quarter before the second major run of 15 straight points proved enough for the visitors.
Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith said the end of the first quarter stands out as a trouble spot that was difficult to overcome.
“The effort was good in the second half. However, we didn’t do some things we needed to do from a tactical standpoint. They were flying around, too (with energy) and it seemed like they got the loose balls at crucial times when we were trying to make a run.”
Overall, the Spurs shot 50 percent from the floor and were very patient in the half court on offense. Skyforce guard Tony Mitchell admitted the tempo affected them.
“Our rotations were probably a little slower than normal. We tried to play up tempo with them to get easy buckets and tried to wear them down as much as possible. The Spurs are a really good team and have earned the top spot.”
Mitchell’s efforts stood tall for the Skyforce as he finished with 21 points. Derrick Walton, Jr. stuffed the sheet with 20 points, 7 assists and 6 rebounds and Kadeem Jack assembled a double-double of 14 points with 10 rebounds.
A trio of Austin Spurs stood out with 20+ point performances. Leading the way was Jaron Blossomgame’s 26 points with 8 rebounds, Olivier Hanlan’s 25 points and Derrick White’s 22 points with 7 rebounds.
It’s the final regular season home game for the Skyforce who take to the road for their final three games, first at Iowa on Tuesday. Austin will also be on the road for their next game at Memphis on Tuesday.