Fourth Quarter Run Propels Skyforce to Eleventh Straight Home
Sioux Falls, SD - The Sioux Falls Skyforce (22-4) ran away from the Westchester Knicks (16-12) in the final period to earn a 128-117 victory at the Sanford Pentagon on Friday night.
Trailing by five, 103-98, entering the fourth quarter, the Skyforce outscored Westchester 30-14 in the final frame behind an 18-0 run to secure their 11th straight victory at home. The 11 consecutive home wins are the most in a single season since the 1997-98 season when the Skyforce won 13 straight at home.
The Skyforce were led by Bubu Palo's NBA D-League career-high 28 points and six assists. He made eight of his 10 shot attempts and 11 of his 12 free throws for his seventh consecutive game with 10 or more points since entering the starting lineup.
Nigel Spikes was a perfect seven-for-seven from the field and scored 10 of his 14 points in the fourth quarter. Byron Mullens (15 points, 16 rebounds) recorded his third straight double-double and pulled down a new season high in rebounds.
Briante Weber (13 points, five assists), Jabril Trawick (14 points, four assists) and Spikes combined to score 41 points off of the bench. The Skyforce were plus-26 points with Weber on the court tonight and all eight Skyforce players who played in the game for Sioux Falls scored in double figures.
The Knicks led by as many as 10 points midway through the third quarter, scoring 40 points total in the period. Jimmer Fredette scored 20 of his game-high 36 points in the third quarter alone, but was held to just three in the final period.
Jordan Bachynski (17 points, 11 rebounds) recorded a double-double for Westchester and Travis Trice II and Darion Atkins each added 15 points.
Despite allowing their opponents to shoot above 50 percent for the first time this season, Sioux Falls' defense was stifling in the fourth quarter, limiting Westchester to just four-of-16 shooting (25 percent) from the field.
Sioux Falls' 22-4 record is the best start through 26 games in NBA D-League history. The Skyforce and Knicks return to the Sanford Pentagon tomorrow night at 7 p.m. for the second game of the back-to-back series.
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