SIOUX FALLS, SD – Larry Drew II dropped a career-high 29 points, making a career-best eight shots from long distance while adding eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the Sioux Falls Skyforce (10-13) past the South Bay Lakers (14-8) on Tuesday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
The Skyforce shot a blistering 11-of-17 from three-point range in the first half, leading by as many as 27 points prior to the halftime break. Ike Nwamu (17 points and six rebounds) and Tony Mitchell (24 points, 11 rebounds and six assists) combined for 27 points in the first half alone as Sioux Falls appeared to be running away with the game.
However, the Lakers managed to whittle the deficit down to 18 heading into the halftime break, and outscored the Skyforce 23 to 13 in the final frame to climb back into the game in the closing minutes. Scott Machado tallied a 16-point, 12-assist double-double to lead the way for South Bay, while Travis Wear and V.J. Beachem each scored 19 points in the Lakers’ loss.
Los Angeles Lakers assignee Thomas Bryant scored 14 points and added seven rebounds in just 16 first-half minutes prior to receiving his second, disqualifying technical foul. Los Angeles Lakers two-way player Vander Blue recorded five points and three assists in 20 minutes off the bench.
Finally, Kadeem Jack added 13 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench, leading the Skyforce to a 36-30 advantage in the paint on the night. After South Bay managed to score first, and Larry Drew II three-pointer put the Skyforce up 3-2 early in the first and the Skyforce never trailed again in the near wire-to-wire victory.
Sioux Falls now travels to Des Moines on Friday, January 5 to take on the Iowa Wolves in what will be the Force’s first road game since December 21 against the Salt Lake City Stars.
South Bay now travels to Texas to take on the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Thursday, January 4 in what will be the second of a three-game road trip for the club leading into the NBA G League Showcase in Mississauga, Ontario.