Weber Steal, Layup Send Skyforce to Road Win over D-Fenders
In a game full of offense, a crucial defensive play sent the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a road victory over the Los Angeles D-Fenders 128-125 on Wednesday night.
Two division leading teams clashed at Toyota Sports Center also known as the Los Angeles Lakers practice facility. Sioux Falls (14-4) was coming off a loss in Santa Cruz the night before and participating in their fifth game in the last eight days. The D-Fenders (13-5) had not played since knocking off Greensboro prior to Christmas.
This rematch of last year’s NBADL Finals revealed little rust for the home team and few signs of wear for the visitors. Both teams piled up the points at a brisk pace with either a two-point lead or a tie score at each 12-minute interval.
In the home stretch, Sioux Falls had to fend off two big pushes from the D-Fenders. The last being an 8-0 run to tie the game at 125. Each team missed a three pointer in the final minute before Briante Weber stripped Josh Magette and took the ball the other way and hesitated a bit before scoring to use as much clock as possible. The exchange also induced a technical foul on Los Angeles which was converted by Okaro White leaving only 3.3 seconds for the hosts to respond. An errant 3-point shot at the buzzer concluded the impressive win.
White piled up a career high 36 points including 15-16 at the charity stripe plus 8 rebounds and 4 steals. Marcus Posley hit 7 three-pointers on the way to 29 points. Keith Benson continued his stellar play with 25 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks. Weber’s go-ahead bucket finished off his night with 14 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds and a pair of steals.
Vander Blue led the tally category for the D-Fenders with 27 points. Magette scored 24 and dealt 13 assists, but his only turnover was the one in the closing seconds.
Each team has one more outing before the close of 2016 as the D-Fenders will host Northern Arizona on Friday. Meanwhile Sioux Falls plays Friday as well with a road contest at Salt Lake City.