SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Feb. 10 -- Stephen Graham posted 25 points and nine rebounds to help the Sioux Falls Skyforce snap a five-game losing streak with a 91-74 win over the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.
“It was one of those games where we got over the hump,” Graham said. “As a team we had some chemistry issues, but tonight we gelled together and pulled out the win.”
The Skyforce (16-14) took the lead from the start and never looked back. Sioux Falls shot 42 percent (34-of-81) from the floor as they slowly built a lead, going up by as many as 21 in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles (15-15) hit just 32 percent (24-of-74) of their shots.
“I thought our defensive effort was really good tonight,” Sioux Falls head coach Mo McHone said. “One of the guys that we were really missing was Jeff Varem. He brings toughness and hustle.”
In his second game back from injury, Varem muscled his way to a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Damone Brown chipped in 15 while Antywane Robinson and Corey Williams both had 11.
“I think we just wanted to get that monkey off our back,” Graham said. “Coach has been on us the past five games. He’s been saying that the little things are killing us like rebounds and turnovers. Tonight we tried to focus on that.”
That focus paid off as Sioux Falls out rebounded the D-Fenders 46-44 and had five fewer turnovers (15-10).
The D-Fenders were led by forward Sean Banks with 21 points. Chet Mason contributed 13 as Brian Chase and Andre Emmett both had 10.
Los Angeles travels back to the STAPLES Center to host the Tulsa 66ers Thursday at 3:30 p.m. PT. The Skyforce continues to battle for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Division with a key matchup on Tuesday. The Austin Toros bring their nine-game winning streak to the Sioux Falls Arena for a 7 p.m. tip. The Skyforce currently holds a two-game advantage over Austin.