Skyforce Top Texas, Square Season Series
The odds for four straight close games between the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Texas Legends seemed pretty steep. However a total blowout seemed even more unlikely considering the final minute provided a game-changing play. A 102-93 Skyforce victory Saturday night has more texture than just a spread of 9 points. The Skyforce extended a winning streak to three games and finishing a five-game home stand strong leading at one time by 26 points. Also, the Legends have lost five straight dating back to the final game of the D-League showcase.
Sioux Falls (13-10) catapulted to a double digit lead with a 19-2 run which began in the middle of the first quarter and lasted into the early stages of the second frame. Through the rest of the game that distance would stay at double digits except for brief stretches of the fourth quarter. Defense was the key for the Skyforce to forge the win keeping Texas (11-10) to 35 percent shooting. Even the twin gargoyles of turnovers and surrendering offensive rebounds did little to dampen the effort.
Granted the game was pretty one-sided, however Darius Rice of the Texas Legends was determined to leave everything on the court. Rice hit 9 three pointers and finished with 39 points both bests in the NBA Development League this season. Even Chris Roberts was stellar for the second straight night with 19 points. Unfortunately, the rest of the Legends were way off. Hide the kids for this next part as the rest of the Legends shot 12 of 53 (23 percent). Rice actually did leave the court with an injury in the third quarter, but returned to bomb away in the fourth hitting 6 from down town in final stanza.
Sioux Falls took advantage inside as the front line of Demetris Nichols (26 points), Dexter Pittman (18 points, 13 rebounds) and Mike Davis (11 points) far outplayed their counterparts. Plus the Skyforce got reacquainted with the services of Donald Sloan (14 points, 8 rebounds, 8 assists) after returning from a ten-day contract with the New Orleans Hornets. Even Mark Tyndale flirted with a triple double of his own (8 points, 9 rebounds, 9 assists) and is glad to have a couple days off after the physical play on Saturday night. The season series stands at two games apiece with the final installment Friday night January 25 in Frisco, Texas.