The Los Angeles D-Fenders defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce 122-117 Saturday night at the Toyota Sports Center.
In the first quarter, the D-Fenders (13-10) and the Skyforce (15-9) both shot the ball poorly from the field, only connecting on 31.8 percent and 34.6 percent from the field respectively. Los Angeles turned it around in the second frame and totaled a second quarter season-high 38 points, spurred by a late 8-0 run which featured two Josh Magette threes and a Josiah Turner fast-break lay-up. In total, the D-Fenders shot 39.2 percent from the field and racked up 18 assists on their 20 made field goals to help them claim a six-point halftime lead.
The impressive play continued for the D-Fenders in the third period as they shot 63.6 percent from the field and collected four offensive rebounds, which led to nine second-chance points. Leading by 11 points entering the final twelve minutes of play, the D-Fenders swiftly pushed that advantage to 16 points four minutes into the fourth quarter. Sioux Falls would come storming back and eventually took a two-point lead with under three minutes to play. Trailing by one-point with a minute to go, James Southerland and Josiah Turner hit clutch jump-shots on consecutive possessions to secure the victory for Los Angeles. Arriving back from Reno the day of the game, the D-Fenders successfully claimed back-to-back wins and now sit three games above .500 on the season.
C.J. Williams (27 points, seven rebounds), James Southerland (24 points, seven rebounds) and Terrence Williams (22 points, nine assists, eight rebounds) all finished with 20+ points to lead the D-Fenders. Also finishing in double-digits for Los Angeles were, Josh Magette (14 points, nine assists), Andre Ingram (14 points), Travis Hyman (10 points, 13 rebounds) and Josiah Turner (11 points).
The Skyforce were paced by a double-double from Justin Hamilton (33 points, 18 rebounds), along with double-digit efforts from Tre Kelley (27 points, eight rebounds), Henry Walker (13 points) and A.J. Davis (10 points). Larry Drew II also pitched in nine points and seven assists for Sioux Falls off of the bench.
Overall, the game featured 14 lead changes and 11 ties. In addition, 46 percent of the D-Fenders field goal attempts came from beyond the arc, in which they hit 16 of 44. Los Angeles held the edge in three-point percentage (36.4 – 19.4), free-throw percentage (83.9 – 81.8), assists (29 – 22) and blocks (5 – 4).
The D-Fenders next contest will be a special game in tribute to Dr. Jerry Buss at the Citizens Business Bank Arena in Ontario, California. The game tips off at 7:30pm against the Texas Legends.