Skyforce Clinch Playoff Birth in Blowout Victory
Sioux Falls, SD - The Sioux Falls Skyforce (30-8) ran away from the Grand Rapids Drive (18-20) on their way to a 118-85 victory. Sioux Falls became the first team to clinch a spot in the 2016 NBA Development League playoffs and are now tied with the 2009-10 Iowa Energy for the best record through a team's first 38 games of a season.
The Skyforce got out to an early lead and the Drive were never able to recover as Sioux Falls outscored Grand Rapids by at least 10 points in three different quarters. Shooting percentage served as one of the main differences between the two teams tonight, as the Skyforce shot 61 percent from the field compared to just 37.5 percent shooting from the Drive.
Rodney McGruder (22 points, six assists, four rebounds), Briante Weber (22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists), and newly acquired forward Jarnell Stokes (20 points, five rebounds) each recorded over 10 points in the win for Sioux Falls. The three of them combined to make 26 of their 34 shot attempts. Weber finished with a +/- stat of plus-41 in the game and recorded one of two double-doubles for the Skyforce, the other coming from Keith Benson who recorded 17 points and 13 rebounds off the bench.
Performances from Lorenzo Brown (22 points), Devin Ebanks (19 points), and Henry Sims (11 points, 12 rebounds) led the way for Grand Rapids in the losing effort. Though they limited their turnovers to just 10, the Drive finished with just nine total assists in the game as opposed to 28 assists from Sioux Falls.
The Skyforce have now held opponents under 50 percent shooting in 35 of their 38 games this season and with a 22-point advantage on the night, they improve to 26-3 when outscoring their opponents in the paint.
The Skyforce will look to earn the best NBA D-League record through a team's first 39 games tomorrow night in the second game of a back-to-back home stand against the Grand Rapids Drive.
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