Sioux Falls S. - Santa Cruz W. 99-83 The Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 99-83 Tuesday night. Sioux Falls shot 57.1 percent from the field (24-of-42) in the first half to take a 52-34 halftime lead and withstood a second-half rally to snap a four-game losing streak. Sioux Falls (11-10) shot 56.0 percent from the field (14-of-25) in the opening quarter to take a 28-16 lead. The hot shooting continued in the second quarter and Sioux Falls led 52-34 at halftime. Demetris Nichols (6'9''-F-84, college: Syracuse) scored 12 first-half points on a perfect 6-of-6 field goals. Santa Cruz (11-7) trailed by as many as 25 points (65-40) with just under seven minutes to go in the third quarter but went on a 24-7 run to cut the deficit to 72-64 heading into the final stanza. Justin Johnson made a jump shot to get the visitors within three points (74-71) but Nichols scored 11 points down the stretch to help Sioux Falls pick up their first-ever win against Santa Cruz. Nichols scored a season-high 26 points to go along with six rebounds and five assists. Miami HEAT assignee Dexter Pittman (6'10''-C-88, college: Texas) posted 15 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks while Mychel Thompson scored 13 points in his first start since being acquired from Erie. Daniel Nwaelele (6'5''-G-84, college: Air Force) scored a season-high 21 points behind 4-of-6 3-pointers off the bench. Maurice Baker (6'1''-PG-79, college: Oklahoma St.) tallied a season-high 20 points while Cameron Jones (6'4''-G-89, college: N.Arizona) added 10. Courtesy of: keloland.com
Iowa E. - Santa Cruz W. 106-109 One night removed from a dismal offensive performance against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Santa Cruz Warriors returned to the hardwood and quickly rid themselves of that disappointing taste. Cameron Jones scored a season-high 21 points, Chris Johnson (6'11''-C-85, college: LSU) and Taylor Griffin added 15 points apiece, and the Warriors returned to the win column with a narrow 109-106 victory against the host Iowa Energy on Wednesday night. Daniel Nwaelele and Mickell Gladness scored 13 and 10 points, respectively, off the bench. Santa Cruz shot 48.3 percent from the field. On Tuesday, the D-League affiliate of the Golden State Warriors was limited to 38.2 percent shooting in a 99-83 loss to the Skyforce. Wednesday's win against Iowa snaps a five-game road losing streak for Santa Cruz (12-7), which sits just a half-game behind the Bakersfield Jam (13-7) for first place in the West Division. The Warriors host the Jam on Monday at 7 p.m. First, though, the Warriors return to Kaiser Permanente Arena for a three-game homestand beginning Friday against the Los Angeles D-Fenders at 7 p.m. The game is already sold out. Iowa (6-13), which has now lost two straight, had six players score in double figures, including Morris Almond (6'6''-F/G-85, college: Rice), who had a game-high 24 points. Darius Miller (6'8''-G-90, college: Kentucky), on assignment from the New Orleans Hornets, contributed 14 points, while Quincy Miller recorded the only double-double of the night with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Santa Cruz led by as much as 16 with 1:04 left in the first half, but Iowa chipped away at the deficit throughout the second half. The Energy came within one point on two occasions within the last 2:07 to play, but each time Moe Baker hit two free throws to extend the Warriors' lead. The Energy had possession at the end of the game, but Darington Hobson blocked a Paul Harris three-pointer to put the Warriors in the win column. Hobson dished out a game-high six assists and added eight points. Courtesy of: santacruzsentinel.com
Idaho S. - Erie Bay H. 91-84 The Erie BayHawks lost to the Idaho Stampede 91-84 late Wednesday night despite a game-high 26 points from Erie's D.J. Kennedy (6'6''-G/F-89, agency: Interperformances, college: St.John's). Idaho's Justin Holiday (6'6''-F-89, college: Washington) turned in a big all-around performance with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven blocked shots before a crowd of 1,829 at CenturyLink Arena. The BayHawks (10-8) were ahead 30-19 after the first quarter and led by as many as 13 points before the Stampede (6-15) slowly closed the lead. Henry Sims (6'10''-C-90, college: Georgetown) added 11 points and a game-high 18 rebounds for Erie. The BayHawks' Tirrell Baines (11 points), Mike Singletary (10) and Demetri DeCamey (10) also scored in double figures. The BayHawks played without center Keith Benson, who left the team for personal reasons this week. Cory Higgins joined with the team Wednesday and scored four points on 1-for-8 shooting from the field in 20 minutes of action. The BayHawks will play a second straight game at Idaho today at 9 p.m. Courtesy of: goerie.com
Los Angeles D. - Ft.Wayne MA 102-104 Ron Howard hit a finger-roll layup with 0.6 seconds left to beat the Los Angeles D-Fenders and give the Mad Ants their eighth-straight win. The Ants trailed by 20 points early and were down five going into the fourth quarter, but beat the D-Fenders 104-102 on Wednesday at the Toyota Sports Center. The win improved Fort Wayne's record to 11-10. The Ants return to action at Bakersfield on Friday night. Tony Mitchell (6'6''-F-92, college: Alabama) led the Ants with 25 points and 10 rebounds. Luke Harangody (6'7''-F-88, agency: Priority Sports, college: Notre Dame) had 16 points and 12 rebounds. Darryl Partin scored 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting, hitting three three-pointers. Milwaukee Bucks assignee, Doron Lamb contributed 12 points and Sadiel Rojas chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds. Howard dished out seven assists. Indiana Pacers assignee Miles Plumlee scored nine points with seven rebounds and three blocks. Harangody and Rojas hit back-to-back three-point shots late in the fourth quarter to lead the comeback. Los Angeles (6-11) was led by Ronald DuPree (6'7''-F/G-81, agency: Priority Sports, college: LSU) with 24 points and 12 rebounds, Courtney Fortson with 23 points and 12 assists and Gary Flowers with 22 points. Courtesy of: news-sentinel.com
Idaho S. - Erie Bay H. 89-104 Carlon Brown (6'5''-G-89, college: Colorado) had 21 points and six rebounds and Sean Evans collected another double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds, but the Idaho Stampede lost to the Erie BayHawks 104-89. Coby Karl (6'5''-G-83, agency: Priority Sports, college: Boise St.) had 18 points, four assists and four rebounds for Idaho (6-16). The Stampede bench was outscored 50-21 and the home team shot just 38.6 percent from the floor, getting outscored 33-22 in the fourth quarter. Mike Singletary led the way for Erie with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Tirrell Baines and Erik Daniels each added 17 points, six rebounds off the bench. Erie (11-8) made 9-of-19 three-pointers and 21-of-26 free throws, while they turned it over just 11 times. Idaho committed 18 turnovers, which led to 25 points for the BayHawks. Justin Holiday had nine points, five rebounds and three blocks and Justin Harper added six points and eight rebounds off the bench. There were 15 lead changes and 12 times tied in the game, all of which came in the first three quarters - after three, the Stampede trailed just 71-67. Idaho allowed Erie to make 12-of-20 shots in the final quarter, including 3-of-5 from three-point land, while they made just six field goals in the last 12 minutes. Idaho travels to play the Austin Toros on Friday, Jan. 25 and the Texas Legends on Saturday, Jan. 26. Courtesy of: kboi2.com
Rio Grande VV - Reno B. 134-105 Terrence Jones (6'9''-F-92, college: Kentucky) hauled a loose ball from the opening tip - his tip - and romped in for a dunk. Jones then had a steal on the following possession that led to a basket, and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers took off from there, rolling to a 134-105 victory over the Reno Bighorns on Thursday at State Farm Arena. The Vipers (11-9) won for the fourth time in their last five games and improved to 5-1 at home. The Vipers scored a season-high in points, and Jones, on assignment from the Houston Rockets, equaled his season-high with 27 points on 9-of-14 shooting. 'We just came out real aggressive,' Jones said. 'Everybody was real focused in. We've been having a lot of guys come in that haven't been with us. The chemistry has been real tough. We just wanted to come out and get a nice win.' It's true the Vipers' roster has undergone massive changes in the last two weeks. If chemistry has been an issue for the Vipers, it didn't appear that way Thursday. 'I thought it was the smoothest game we've had, and we never really took our foot off the gas,' Vipers coach Nick Nurse said. 'We didn't have any dry spells.' Terrel Harris had 24 points and 11 rebounds. After missing his first four shots from the 3-point arc, Harris finished with 4-of-9 shooting threes. Playing point guard for the first time with the Vipers, Andrew Goudelock had 23 points. 'We're trying to figure out what position to play him,' Nurse said of Goudelock. 'He's good with the ball. He lets the game come to him. He doesn't come out of the gates trying to gun too much. He feels his way through a little bit and then has some explosive spurts through the game.' Other high scorers for the Vipers were Chris Johnson with 19 points. He was 5 of 6 from the arc. Tim Ohlbrecht (6'11''-F/C-88) had 11 points and 10 rebounds. 'We came out with a lot of energy and fed off each other,' Johnson said. Save for a brief tie at 5 just a little more than two minutes in, the Vipers steadily built their momentum sparked by Jones' opening sequence. The Vipers led 29-22 after one quarter. The Bighorns (8-10) got as close as 29-26 with 11:01 remaining in the second quarter, but the Vipers responded with an 8-2 run. The Bighorns tried to keep it close in the second quarter behind the efforts of Texas A&M-product Antoine Wright, who scored nine-straight points to pull Reno to within 54-43 with 3:07 remaining. But, the Vipers carried a 61-51 lead into the half. Wright finished with a team-high 25 points. The Vipers delivered the knockout blow when they scored 10 of the first 12 points of the third quarter to take a 71-53 lead at the 9:34 mark. The Bighorns never got closer than 11 after that. The Vipers held a decisive 46-31 advantage in rebounds. They also scored 70 points in the paint, many of which came as a result of the 27 turnovers they forced. 'We wanted to have some active hands,' Nurse said. 'I thought we created a ton of turnovers just by harassing the passer and staying with the pass the whole way and tipping a bunch of free. Obviously, it fueled a lot of fast break points. We had 70 points in the paint, and a lot of that wasn't because of post-ups. It was off transitions and taking it to the rim.' Courtesy of: themonitor.com
Brady Heslip (6'3''-SG-90, college: Baylor) came off the bench to hit six 3-pointers and the D-League's stingiest defense again gave the Maine Red Claws fits as the Raptors 905 completed a two-game sweep of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night. The Raptors beat Maine 103-88 before a crowd announced as 1,967 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. It was the 12th straight victory for Raptors 905, Toronto's second-year D-League affiliate. They advance to the D-League champio... [read more]
Brady Heslip (6'3''-SG-90, college: Baylor) came off the bench to hit six 3-pointers and the D-League's stingiest defense again gave the Maine Red Claws fits as the Raptors 905 completed a two-game sweep of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night. The Raptors beat Maine 103-88 before a crowd announced as 1,967 at the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. It was the 12th straight victory for Raptors 905, Toronto's second-year D-League affiliate. They advance to the D-League championship series and will play Oklahoma City or Rio Grande. The Red Claws lost Game 1 at the Portland Expo on Sunday night 109-84 after defeating Fort Wayne two games to one in the conference semifinals. On Wednesday night, Cameron Ayers opened the game with a 3-pointer that gave the Red Claws their first lead of the series. Jalen Jones (6'7''-G/F-93, college: Texas A&M) made it 5-0 on a baseline jumper but Raptors 905 responded with an 18-4 run to take the lead for good. The Red Claws fell behind by a dozen after one quarter but pulled within 35-34 on a driving dunk by Demetrius Jackson (6'1''-PG-94, college: Notre Dame), who finished the game with a team-high 21 points. In the final four minutes of the half, however, Heslip hit five 3-pointers as the Raptors outscored Maine 21-2 to reach intermission with a 56-36 advantage. Jackson helped the Red Claws cut the deficit to 83-73 early in the fourth quarter but they came no closer. Abdel Nader (6'6''-F-93, college: Iowa St.) finished with 15 points and made only one of his nine 3-point attempts. Jalen Jones contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Jordan Mickey, like Jackson on assignment from the Boston Celtics, contributed 13 points and nine rebounds. Guerschon Yabusele (6'7''-PF-95), a first-round Celtics draft pick who joined Maine at the end of March, was 1 of 7 from the field and finished the game with five points and three rebounds. Heslip, one of the six Raptors who scored in double figures, finished with 21 points. E.J. Singler (6'6''-F-90, college: Oregon) added 18 and Bruno Caboclo, on assignment from Toronto, had 16. Pascal Siakam (6'9''-F-94, college: N.Mexico St.), another NBA player from Toronto, had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Yanick Moreira (6'11''-C-91, college: SMU) added 16 points and 12 rebounds. In five previous meetings between the teams, the visitors had never lost. Raptors 905 won 39 games in the regular season, best in the league and 10 more than Maine, and were the only team to hold opponents below 100 points per game. The Red Claws ended their most successful season in franchise history, a year that included a third straight Atlantic Division title, Rookie of the Year honors for Nader and a first-ever playoff series victory. Courtesy of: pressherald.com
Oklahoma City couldn't match Rio Grande Valley's hot shooting night in Game 2 of the NBA D-League Western Conference Finals on Sunday. Rio Grande Valley forced a series-deciding Game 3 with a 118-105 win over the Blue at the Cox Convention Center. The Vipers never trailed, leading by as many as 18 points. Rio Grande Valley shot 52 percent from the floor to OKC's 38 percent. The Blue started cold before shooting 50 percent from the floor in the second. Despite the offensive boost, Rio Gran... [read more]
Oklahoma City couldn't match Rio Grande Valley's hot shooting night in Game 2 of the NBA D-League Western Conference Finals on Sunday. Rio Grande Valley forced a series-deciding Game 3 with a 118-105 win over the Blue at the Cox Convention Center. The Vipers never trailed, leading by as many as 18 points. Rio Grande Valley shot 52 percent from the floor to OKC's 38 percent. The Blue started cold before shooting 50 percent from the floor in the second. Despite the offensive boost, Rio Grande Valley extended its lead to 56-47 by halftime. The Vipers continued to push the pace in the second half, tying the series 1-1 with the double-digit win. Vipers forward Kyle Wiltjer (6'10''-F-92, college: Gonzaga) had a game-high 25 points, knocking down 5-of-8 from three. Guard Darius Morris (6'4''-G-91, college: Michigan) poured in 24 points on 11-of-16 shooting. The Blue were led by guard Reggie Williams (6'6''-G/F-86, college: VMI) and forward Josh Huestis (6'7''-F-91, college: Stanford). Williams scored a team-high 20 points, while Huestis added 19. Both Alex Caruso (6'5''-G-94, college: Texas A&M) and Dakari Johnson (7'0''-C/F-95, college: Kentucky) posted double-doubles for Oklahoma City. Caruso had 16 points and a game-high 10 assists. Johnson finished with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Courtesy of: newsok.com
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, NBA D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, could not pull of the win at home and lost 108-112 to the Oklahoma City Blue in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. Kyle Wiltjer (6'10''-F-92, college: Gonzaga) scored 27 points in the game. Three Rio Grande Valley players collected double-doubles. Chris Johnson(6'6''-SF-90, college: Dayton) had 12 rebounds and 20 points. Isaiah Taylor finished the night with 12 assists and 13 points while Darius Mor... [read more]
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, NBA D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, could not pull of the win at home and lost 108-112 to the Oklahoma City Blue in the first game of the Western Conference Finals. Kyle Wiltjer (6'10''-F-92, college: Gonzaga) scored 27 points in the game. Three Rio Grande Valley players collected double-doubles. Chris Johnson (6'6''-SF-90, college: Dayton) had 12 rebounds and 20 points. Isaiah Taylor finished the night with 12 assists and 13 points while Darius Morris (6'4''-G-91, college: Michigan) had 10 assists and 24 points. Dakari Johnson (7'0''-C/F-95, college: Kentucky) led the Blue in scoring with 27 points. Rio Grande Valley started the game with a three-point streak. Three-pointers from Kyle Wiltjer and Darius Morris gave the Vipers an initial nine-point lead over Oklahoma City. Reggie Williams (6'6''-G/F-86, college: VMI)' 12 points were enough to lead the Blue back into the game and finish the opening quarter with a 29-35 lead. Rio Grande Valley Vipers tried to close the gap between both teams, but Dakari Johnson's 10 points in the second quarter helped extend Oklahoma City's lead to nine points as the first half came to an end. Isaiah Taylor, who had been held scoreless in the first two quarters, lit up in the third and scored 11 points. The Vipers defense contained Oklahoma City to just 20 points in the third quarter and sent both teams tied to the final quarter with a 80-80 score. Kyle Wiltjer's fade-away shot put the Vipers ahead 96-95 with 4:09 left in the game. After Dakari Johnson's layup with 3:45 left, the Vipers were not able to steal the lead back and dropped the first game 108-112. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers will play game two of the best of three series on Sunday, April 16 at Oklahoma City. The game will tip-off at 6:30p.m. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
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