The Los Angeles D-Fenders lost to the Sioux Falls Skyforce 114-106 at the Sanford Pentagon tonight.
The first quarter was evenly matched as both the D-Fenders (3-7) and the Skyforce (10-2) shot 41.7 percent from the field in the frame. The D-Fenders led by as many as 10 in the first, but entered the second period leading by four points. In the second quarter, the two teams went toe-for-toe again and the half ended with the D-Fenders leading 64-61. In total, the D-Fenders shot 51.0 percent from the field and notched 15 assists on their 25 made field goal attempts in the first half.
The D-Fenders struggled from the field in the third frame, but leaned on a strong defensive effort (five blocks and three steals) to keep the lead at three entering the final 12 minutes of play. Los Angeles quickly pushed their lead to eight points early in the final frame, but Sioux Falls closed the gap and gained the lead, their first since the four-minute mark in the third quarter, with nine minutes left to play. The D-Fenders could never bounce back and eventually fell to the Skyforce.
Manny Harris scored a game-high 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists to lead the D-Fenders. C.J. Williams (21 points), in his first career start, Jamario Moon (17 points) and James Southerland (11 points) were the other three players that finished in double-digits. Josh Magette also pitched in 10 assists for Los Angeles.
The starting lineup of DeAndre Liggins (24 points, nine rebounds), A.J. Davis (21 points, 12 rebounds), Ryan Evans (18 points, nine rebounds), Justin Hamilton (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Larry Drew II (10 points) carried the load for the Skyforce. Henry Walker and John Allen both added eight points each off of the bench as well.
Overall, the D-Fenders shot 42.9 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from the three-point line and out-assisted the Skyforce 24-19. However, the Skyforce outrebounded the D-Fenders 59-34 overall and 22-9 on the offensive glass. In addition, Sioux Falls held the edge in points in the paint (64-46) and second chance points (32-6).