Arsenal Double-Up Skyforce in the Fourth for Comeback Win
BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 14, 2008 - The Anaheim Arsenal overcame a 15-point second-half deficit to defeat the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 99-94, in the opening game of the NBA Development League Showcase for both teams Monday at Qwest Arena.
Ivan Johnson scored a game-high 26 points and seven Anaheim players scored in double figures as the Arsenal won for the third time in its last four games to improve to 7-11. Sioux Falls drops to 8-12 on the season.
Johnson did most of his work in the first three quarters, scoring 22 of his points prior to the final period. But he hit the biggest shot of the night, a 20-foot jumper from the top of the key to break a 94-94 tie with 27.8 second remaining, giving the Arsenal a lead they would not relinquish.
The Skyforce were stopped by Davin White on their next two possessions - first a block on Elton Nesbit's potential game-tying jumper with 16 seconds remaining, then a steal on an inbounds pass with nine seconds to go.
"Offensively it wasn't one of our best nights - we missed Guillermo Diaz. We missed his 20 points and his ability to get to the rim," said Arsenal head coach Reggie Geary.
"I think the bench came in to do a fabulous job. Davin kind of substituted the Guillermo role - he was attacking the rim and getting to the free throw line and more importantly stopping the clock. Defensively, to get stop after stop, it really took the wind out of their sails a little bit. It was a good win for us."
Kasib Powell led the way for Sioux Falls with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Joiner added 17 points and Nesbitt and David Bailey chipped in 16 apiece.
The Skyforce led 48-44 at the half and extended the lead to 15 during the third quarter, when they connected on four-of-five from 3-point range. Sioux Falls scored 30 points in the quarter and led by 11 going into the fourth.
The hot shooting from long range did not carry over into the fourth, as the Skyforce missed all five of their 3-point attempts and were outscored 32-16 in the final period.
The Arsenal tied the game for the first time in the second half on Yuta Tabuse's 3-pointer with five-and-a-half minutes to play. Tabuse's second 3-pointer with 53 seconds remaining put the Arsenal up 94-92. The Arsenal hit only 4-of-19 shot from long range for the game, with Tabuse hitting them at an opportune time.
"This league is very close to the NBA, so maybe I have a chance to get called up," said Tabuse. "So far, 100 players have gotten called up which means every player has a chance to get a Call-Up, so that's why I keep playing here."
Tabuse and the rest of the players on the court know the Showcase is an opportunity to impress NBA scouts and improve their chances of getting a Call-Up.
"It's a great opportunity for each and every one of them," said Sioux Falls coach Nate Tibbetts. "It's an exciting time. There are some very important people up in the stands, judging your every move. It definitely has a different feel to it, but it's a great opportunity for everyone."
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