SIOUX FALLS, SD – After leading by as many as 24 points, the Sioux Falls Skyforce (15-8) escaped with a 122-118 overtime victory over the Austin Spurs (12-10) on Wednesday night at the Sanford Pentagon. Charles Cooke III came off the bench to tally a season-high 26 points on a career-high six made three-pointers to lead the Force.
Sioux Falls jumped out to an early first-half lead, and appeared to be in cruise control approaching halftime. Miami HEAT two-way player Yante Maten had 15 points (6-7 FG) in just under 15 minutes, but was forced out of the game with an ankle injury partway through the second quarter.
Nick Johnson (23 points, 13 assists and seven rebounds) and John Holland (19 points, 11-12 FT) then led the Spurs on a 17-point fourth-quarter comeback before ultimately falling short in what was Sioux Falls’ first overtime game of the season. San Antonio Spurs assignee Chimezie Metu (18 points) and Amida Brimah (14 points) took full-advantage of Maten’s absence as Austin outscored the Skyforce 30-20 in the paint over the last two quarters.
In addition to Cooke III’s career night, Sioux Falls was led by Miami HEAT two-way player Duncan Robinson (23 points) and guard Bubu Palo (21 points) who turned in his second-straight 20-point performance for the first time this season.
The Skyforce shot over 50 percent from the field and over 40 percent from three-point range, but allowed the Spurs to even the game by scoring 30 points off of 19 total turnovers. Contributions from Raphiael Putney (13 points and 12 rebounds) and Briante Weber (15 points and three steals) rounded out the bulk of the scoring for the Force, while DeAndre Liggins tallied a team-high 10 assists in the win.
San Antonio Spurs two-way player Ben Moore (16 points and 13 rebounds) notched yet another double-double while Julian Washburn (16 points and nine rebounds) led the team by playing nearly 43 minutes in the loss.
Sioux Falls now travels to Salt Lake City to take on the Stars (11-10) in what will be the first of a four-game Western Conference road trip before returning to the Pentagon on Sunday, January 13 for a matchup with the Midwest Division-leading Oklahoma City Blue (16-5).
The Spurs will look to get back into the win column on their home floor, returning to Austin to take on the Memphis Hustle (13-8) on Saturday, January 5.