SIOUX FALLS, SD – The Sioux Falls Skyforce (9-13) led early, but the Oklahoma City Blue (12-10) controlled the final three periods on their way to a 115-108 victory on Sunday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
After trailing by as many as 11 points in the fourth quarter, the Skyforce cut the deficit to just two points, trailing 102-104 with 2:23 left in the game, but a Daniel Hamilton (16 points, 15 rebounds and 10 assists) three-pointer pushed the Blue lead to five, and the visitors never looked back.
Tony Mitchell (30 points and eight rebounds) scored a game-high 30 points to lead the way for the Skyforce, but shot just 10-of-27 from the field in the loss. Ike Nwamu (26 points and eight assists) scored 20-or-more points for the fourth game in a row, and matched a career-high with eight made three-pointers for Sioux Falls. Nwamu’s eight assists were also good enough for a new career-high.
Hamilton’s triple-double was accompanied by a pair of 23-point performances from Markel Brown and Myke Henry, while Mike Cobbins tallied 12 points and 10 rebounds in the win for Oklahoma City. Bryce Alford (15 points) knocked down four three-pointers off the bench, including a momentum-shifting four-point play while Rashawn Thomas added 15 points in what was a well-rounded win for the Blue.
The Blue outscored the Skyforce 52-22 in the paint, and held a 42-23 advantage in fast break points as well. The Skyforce came one three-pointer shy of a franchise record, making a season-high 22-of-54 three-point attempts in the contest to keep within striking distance, but ultimately came up short.
Alonzo Gee tallied 17 points on 6-of-8 from the field, while Larry Drew II recorded 16 points, nine assists and six rebounds to round out the double-figure scoring for the Skyforce.
Sioux Falls now has an opportunity to start 2018 on a high note, staying on their home floor to face the South Bay Lakers on Tuesday, January 2 in what will be the fifth and final game of their recent five-game home stand.
Oklahoma City will now look to increase its divisional lead amidst a three-game road trip, taking on the Iowa Wolves on Tuesday, January 2 and the Memphis Hustle on Thursday, January 4 before returning home.