The first trip to South Dakota for the Texas Legends NBA Development League franchise was a fruitful one as the visitors walked away with their fifth straight win 86-82 over the Sioux Falls Skyforce.  The Legends have only been around for three years so to not have played yet at the Sioux Falls Arena isn’t that strange.  In fact, the teams had only played once each season over the past two campaigns.  What will be different is the increased frequency of matchups between these combatants considering they will play five times this season.

The first tussle was not exactly a classic, but it was dramatic enough to keep the attention of both casual fans and ardent supporters.  The visitors led by 10 points early, but that was the largest separation of the night.  A 26-21 Texas lead after the first frame gave way to a 43-42 Skyforce edge at half.  No chance to run and hide tonight.  As the game wound down, each possession turned more deliberate and every play magnified as if post season aspirations were at stake.

Sioux Falls to this point of the season had staked claim to five straight wins by executing during that final twelve minutes of each contest.  Tonight was no different, with the Skyforce providing a quick burst to lead by 5 with 1:34 left.  However, the Legends struck back with two straight three point baskets by Chris Roberts and Christian Eyenga to capture the lead.  Andrew Goudelock misfired on the return trip for Sioux Falls with two straight jump balls in the Skyforce frontcourt mixed up a recipe that was tough to swallow.   Texas closed the game on a 9-0 run and extend their winning streak to 5 after losing the first two against Tulsa.  Sioux Falls now joins the beaten ranks at 5-1.  Keep in mind that last year it took until mid-January to get win number 6 so this is much improved.

The visitors were paced by the aforementioned Roberts with 26 points who also grabbed 11 rebounds.  Although the Legends also have Chris Douglas-Roberts on their roster who is one of the top players in the NBA D-League who only scored 9.  Sioux Falls got an outstanding night from Mark Tyndale off the bench with 19 points and 15 rebounds while Demetris Nichols tallied 15 points and Jarvis Varnado added a double-double of his own with 11 points 10 rebounds and 3 blocks.

The Skyforce will have two more home contests coming on Friday and Saturday December 14 & 15 against the Austin Toros.  Texas meanwhile will return to their home court for a Saturday-Sunday engagement with the Rio Grande Valley Vipers.