Stockton, CA – The Sioux Falls Skyforc defeated the first-seeded Stockton Kings 98-97 on Thursday night in the Western Conference semifinals from Stockton Arena.

The Skyforce (22-12) won their eighth-straight game and ended the season 3-0 on the road against the Kings (25-8) in route to the Western Conference Finals. DJ Stewart led the team with 27 points on 9-19 FGA, six rebounds, and four assists.
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Stewart and Justin Champagnie combined for 14 points in the opening quarter, as they paced Sioux Falls to a 36-27 advantage after the first 12 minutes. Stockton responded, outscoring the Force 34-20 in the second quarter to take a 61-56 lead at intermission. Deonte Burton scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half to lead the Kings.


Stewart posted 16 points in the third quarter, shooting 4-7 FGA. Sioux Falls outscored Stockton by seven points in the period and took an 83-81 lead with 12 minutes remaining. The Force moved to 21-3 this season when holding a lead after the third frame.

The Skyforce trailed 91-85 with 6:32 remaining in the game. Champagnie went on to score the next five points to cut the deficit to 91-90 with 5:37 left on the clock.

After a back-and-forth play down the stretch, Sioux Falls trailed 97-95 with 31.3 remaining in the contest. HEAT two-way player Jamal Cain netted a three-pointer to give the Force the lead and ultimately the victory.

Cain finished with 16 points on 6-9 FGA, seven rebounds, and two blocks. Jamaree Bouyea and Champagnie combined for 28 points on 12-28 FGA to round out top scorers for Sioux Falls.

Sacramento two-way players Neemias Queta and Keon Ellis combined for 35 points in the loss.

The Skyforce awaits the winner of the Memphis Hustle and Rio Grande Valley Vipers game on Friday. Sioux Falls travels to Memphis if the Hustle wins and will host Rio Grande Valley if the Vipers win. The tip-off for Sunday will be 9:00 PM CST.

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