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D-Fenders neuralize Skyforce

The Los Angeles D-Fenders split the weekend series with Sioux Falls by earning a 128-121 victory at the Sanford Pentagon tonight.

In the first quarter, which featured nine lead changes, the D-Fenders (4-7) and Skyforce (10-3) both utilized the interior by scoring 16 points each in the paint. The tight contest continued in the second quarter as both teams totaled 29 points in the frame while shooting very efficiently from the floor. In total, the D-Fenders connected on seven of 12 three-point field goals in the half and were led by 22 first-half points (.900 FG%) from C.J. Williams.

The hot shooting continued for Los Angeles in the third period, as they knocked down five more three-point field goals and totaled a third quarter season-high 36 points. The D-Fenders scored the first five points of the fourth quarter and pushed their lead to 17 points with 11 minutes to play. With the help of an 8-0 run, Sioux Falls pulled all the way back within two points with just under five minutes in the game. Despite the late surge, the D-Fenders held off the Skyforce down the stretch for their fourth victory of the season.

C.J. Williams, with a career-high 34 points on 14 of 18 from the field, led the charge for Los Angeles. The D-Fenders also received strong efforts from Manny Harris (24 points, seven assists), Jamario Moon (24 points, eight rebounds) and Andre Ingram (20 points) off of the bench. Josh Magette also pitched in nine assists.

The Skyforce were paced by Justin Hamilton (27 points, 10 rebounds), DeAndre Liggins (27 points, nine rebounds, eight assists), A.J. Davis (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Ryan Evans (13 points). Henry Walker (17 points) and Charlie Westbrook (16 points) also contributed off of the bench for Sioux Falls.

Overall, the D-Fenders set new season-highs in field goal percentage (52.9) and three-point field goal percentage (60.0) and posted their second highest point total of the year (128). Furthermore, Los Angeles held the edge over Sioux Falls in offensive rebounds (11-9) and second chance points (13-10).

The D-Fenders will continue their current four-game road trip in Boise, Idaho, on December 30th at 6:00pm against the Idaho Stampede (Portland Trail Blazers affiliate).