SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (SKYFORCE) — Justin Champagnie’s 35 points on 11-22 FGA, 12 rebounds and a career-high seven steals helped the Sioux Falls Skyforce defeat the Grand Rapids Gold 100-94 on Thursday night from the Sanford Pentagon.
It marked Champagnie’s third-straight game with 26-plus points and over 50 percent shooting from the field to start the season for Sioux Falls (2-1), who picked up their second-straight win.
Miami HEAT two-way player Jamal Cain added 21 points on 8-16 FGA and 10 rebounds for his second consecutive double-double. The Force has won nine of the last 11 games Cain has been transferred to the team.
Sioux Falls jumped out to another hot start in the first 12 minutes, as they led 25-17, and took the opening period for the third consecutive game, while Champagnie and Cain combined for 17 points.
Grand Rapids (0-3) outscored Sioux Falls 31-22 in the second frame, as Denver Nuggets assignee Hunter Tyson (19 points on 5-18 FGA and seven rebounds) and two-way player Jay Huff (28 points on 10-15 FGA and 14 rebounds) totaled 17 points in the quarter to help them take a 48-47 lead at intermission.
Alondes Williams scored 11 of his 16 points (seven assists) in the second half and nine in the third quarter, which helped build a 79-72 lead with just a quarter left.
Sioux Falls was able to build up to a 14-point lead in the final 12 minutes, but Grand Rapids was able to cut the contest to a two-possession game with 34.5 seconds remaining in the game. Ultimately, the Force was able to hold on for their fifth victory in a row over the Gold.
The Skyforce travels to face the Wisconsin Herd (1-2) on Sunday and Tuesday, while Grand Rapids hosts Motor City (2-0) on Saturday.