SIOUX FALLS, SD – The Sioux Falls Skyforce (3-2) led by as many as 22 points in the second quarter, but the Austin Spurs (4-2) stole victory at the buzzer. San Antonio Spurs two-way player Matt Costello (13 points and 13 rebounds) converted an alley-oop from Nick Johnson (14 points) with 0.4 seconds remaining, giving the Spurs a 119-118 victory.
Sioux Falls shot lights out in the first half, making 14-of-20 three-point attempts in the first 24 minutes of the game. Tony Mitchell (24 points, seven rebounds and four assists) led the way early for the Skyforce, scoring 19 of his 24 points in the first half.
The Spurs were able to narrow the lead to just 16 at the break, trailing 75-59 heading into halftime before outscoring the Skyforce 31-19 in the third quarter. Darrun Hilliard (31 points), a teammate of Larry Drew II on the USA Basketball AmeriCup team this summer, led the way for the Spurs throughout the game as six different Austin players scored in double figures. Jaron Blossomgame followed Hilliard with 23 points (11-of-14 shooting) in the win for the Spurs.
The Skyforce have led by at least 20 points in each of their last three games, but were unable to hang on in the fourth quarter as they normally do in today’s loss. In their last four games combined (including today), the Skyforce have been outscored 108-94 in the third quarter, and 111-88 in the fourth quarter. Despite their second-half struggles, the Skyforce still managed a 2-2 record in that span.
Miami HEAT two-way player Derrick Walton Jr. made his Skyforce debut today, scoring 20 points, adding nine assists and collecting four rebounds in the game. Miami’s second two-way player Matt Williams Jr. finished with 13 points on the day on 4-of-7 three-point field goals, his second consecutive game with at least four three-pointers.
Concern looms for the Skyforce as Denver Nuggets two-way player Torrey Craig (24 points, four rebounds and four assists) left the game with an injury in the fourth quarter. Second-year player Ike Nwamu also left the game early in the first half and did not return.
Sioux Falls will look to rebound in a back-to-back home stand against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Friday, November 17 and Saturday, November 18 at the Sanford Pentagon, where they’ve had success in recent years. The Spurs will look to continue their winning ways against the Oklahoma City Blue on Friday, November 17 in the second of a three-game home stand.
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