SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Raphiael Putney dropped a season-high 32 points on a career-high eight made three-pointers to lead the Sioux Falls Skyforce (6-0) to a 136-122 victory over the Salt Lake City Stars (2-2) at the Lifetime Activities Center-Bruins Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday night.
The Skyforce flew out of the gates, converting 18 of the team’s 24 made three-pointers in the first half and riding a 76-51 lead into the break. Rodney Purvis (25 points and seven assists) tallied his second-straight 20-point game to accompany Putney’s career-high night in the Sioux Falls victory.
After the Skyforce led by as many as 42 points in the third quarter, the Stars managed to climb back into the game, outscoring Sioux Falls 42-19 in the final period. Salt Lake City’s Willie Reed (24 points and 11 rebounds) led three Stars players with 20-or-more points on the night, accompanied by Utah Jazz assignee Tony Bradley (20 points) and two-way player Naz Mitrou-Long (20 points).
Despite losing the rebound battle by a 50-38 margin, and being outscored 88-20 in the paint, the Skyforce led in blow-out fashion for a large part of the contest. Miami HEAT two-way player Yante Maten scored 19 points on just six shot attempts (11-12 FT), while Malik Newman (15 points) and Bubu Palo (14 points) led a Skyforce bench that scored 44 points in the contest.
Isaiah Cousins (12 points and 11 assists) joined Reed with the game’s only other double-double, while Jazz two-way player Tyler Cavanaugh led the Stars’ bench in scoring with 14 points and seven rebounds. Salt Lake City rookie Justin Reyes served as a bright spot in the closing quarter, finishing a team-high +20 in the contest with 10 points (4-5 FG).
Skyforce guard Briante Weber (12 points, six rebounds and four steals) tallied four steals for the second-consecutive game, while rookies Austin Chatman (seven points) and Gerard Tarin (eight points) each notched NBA G League career-highs in the win.
The Skyforce will now look to continue their success on the road in what will be a key matchup with the undefeated Oklahoma City Blue (4-0), chasing Sioux Falls for the Midwest Division lead in the early parts of the season. Meanwhile, the Salt Lake City Stars will look to regain momentum on their home floor as they face a one-win South Bay Lakers (1-3) team on Thursday, November 15.