Sioux Falls Skyforce Late Surge Falls Short against D-Fenders
One team clinched a playoff berth while the other fell out of contention as the Los Angeles D-Fenders edged the Sioux Falls Skyforce 115-111 on Saturday night.
Los Angeles (32-13) is locked into the postseason as Pacific Division champions and has an opportunity to return to the NBADL Finals. Sioux Falls (26-20) is currently in fifth place as the top four in the Western Conference will qualify.
Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith credited his group for fighting back in the fourth quarter after being outscored by 18 in the third period.
"Early in the game they were just a little quicker to the ball. In the third quarter they got a couple offensive rebounds and they kicked out and hit two 3's. Those are just plays that kill you. Fourth quarter we were just flying around on every loose ball and playing really hard. When you dig a hole like that it's extremely hard to play like that for 12 minutes."
Skyforce Guard Patrick Miller expected each team to have their moments during the game.
"We knew the game was going to be full of runs. In every game between us, one team always had a big lead. We knew they were going to get up, so we kept pushing to fight back. We knew we were going to lead with them fighting back. It was an uptempo game. We played hard, but it just didn't go our way at the end."
Leading the way for the Skyforce was Bubu Palo with 22 points 9 assists and 8 rebounds followed by Keith Benson’s 21 points and 10 boards. Andre Ingram led the D-Fenders with 28 points and Troy Devries scored 25.
Sioux Falls will next hit the court on Sunday March 26 to face Northern Arizona. The D-Fenders will host the Texas Legends on Wednesday.