In a rare in-season three game series, the Grand Rapids Drive takes game one 119-109 over Sioux Falls Skyforce on New Year’s Day at the DeltaPlex  Arena.  

Most times when teams play three straight against each other, it’s in the playoffs.  There may yet be a re-acquaintance later in 2015 of that sort, but the owning of the third quarter made the difference in this installment.

Grand Rapids (9-6) went 14-23 and outscored Sioux Falls (8-8) 41-30 during that fateful stanza to build a comfortable lead that would be at least double digits for the duration.  Adonis Thomas credits the defensive intensity for building the lead.  “Coming out of halftime we were trying to lock in defensively.  Once we get stops, it’s hard to guard us in transition.  We have so many fast players who can make smart decisions to find teammates to shoot the open three.”  To see the former NBA vet who split time in Philadelphia and Orlando last season look up above.

Thomas who hit 4 of his 5 treys was not the only one hitting from long range.  Overall Grand Rapids went 12-25 (48 percent) on the deep shots and 44-87 (51 percent) combined from the field.  Meanwhile the ‘Force were comparable from deep 11-24 (46 percent) but were 34-84 (40 percent) on all their attempts.

Though Thomas (25 points) led the way, he was backed up by Willie Reed (22 points, 11 rebounds) and L.D. Williams (21 points) for the Drive.  Shabazz Napier on assignment from the Miami Heat (22 points, 5 rebounds), Scotty Hopson (17 points) and Tyler Johnson (15 points) were the top three scorers for the Skyforce.  Napier's work is on display down below.

We mentioned the nature of the three consecutive games between the two squads.  Grand Rapids will also play host to game two on Saturday with game three on Sunday in Sioux Falls.