To win basketball games late you need a closer. The Sioux Falls Skyforce had two players emerge in their 117-112 victory over the Agua Caliente Clippers Wednesday night.

In their first season, the Clippers (7-6) are holding their own through the exploits of Tyrone Wallace, LaDonte Henton, J.J. O’Brien and former Skyforce guard Andre Dawkins. However the Skyforce (6-6) assumed control in the first quarter and maintained a multiple possession advantage through the second and third frames.

The eventual run came in the last 12 minutes with the two teams capturing the lead a handful of times through the middle of the fourth period. Closing time began with 3:55 to go as Tony Mitchell put back his own missed shot to seize the lead at 103-102. Larry Drew II then followed with a floater to extend the lead to three. Both Drew II and Mitchell converted from long distance in the final two and a half minutes to hold the Clippers at bay.

Mitchell’s 14 and Drew II’s 8 points in the final frame was the steady hand to help guide the Skyforce in the clutch. Overall, Torrey Craig had 24 points followed by Mitchell’s 23 points and 11 rebounds with Drew II managing 21 points, 13 assists and 7 rebounds.

Wallace for the Clippers concluded with 28 points and 9 rebounds. Dawkins came off the bench to add 13 points as seven Clippers finished with at least 10 counters.

Sioux Falls will play their third game in California on Friday night against the rebranded South Bay Lakers (formerly the D-Fenders). The Clippers will play at home on the same night against the Northern Arizona Suns.


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