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Wizards Snap Skyforce Win Streak
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., March 30 – The Dakota Wizards snapped the Sioux Falls Skyforce’s seven-game winning streak in dramatic fashion as Renaldo Major hit a game-winning three pointer with 3.1 seconds remaining in a hard-fought 103-102 victory at the Sioux Falls Arena Friday night.
It was a wild finish to an exciting game that saw both teams fight back from double-digit deficits. The Skyforce took their final lead of the game with 24.2 seconds remaining on an alley-oop inbounds pass to Eddy Fobbs for an emphatic dunk. Trailing 102-100, the Wizards went for the win as Dontell Jefferson launched a contested three-pointer with just under ten seconds to go in the contest. Rod Benson came up with the clutch offensive rebound and the ball somehow found its way to Major in the corner for his second game-winning shot in the last three games.
“I saw Amir (Johnson) and Eddy Fobbs, probably two of the highest jumping (guys) in the D-League, coming at me,” Major said. “Next thing you know I hit all net but I knew we needed to get one more stop.”
It appeared that the Dakota Wizards would not get a chance at a game-winning shot in the opening quarter as Sioux Falls built a 17-point lead at one point and appeared to be in control of the game as they led 31-20 after the first quarter.
The Wizards chipped away at the lead and trailed 82-79 heading into the final quarter. Dakota went on a 15-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter as they led 94-82 with just under seven minutes to play in the game. Sioux Falls made one last push as they outscored the Wizards 20-6 in the final six minutes of the game to take their final lead of the contest before Major’s late-game heroics sent the hometown crowd home in disbelief.
“We feel like we stole one tonight,” Dakota Wizards head coach Dave Joerger said. “We hung around long enough that we gave ourselves a chance.”
Amir Johnson had another great game for the Skyforce as he posted a season-high 34 points to go along with 14 rebounds. Elton Nesbitt started in place of the injured Frank Williams and scored a season-high 30 points behind 7-for-11 shooting from downtown.
Major led the Wizards with 28 points and Corey Williams was close behind with 25. Quemont Greer and Maurice Baker scored 18 and 17 points, respectively.
Sioux Falls will host the Colorado 14ers tomorrow night as the D-League tips off NBA Nights presented by adidas. To celebrate the relationship between the NBA and NBA Development League the Skyforce (Pistons) and 14ers (Nuggets) will wear the uniform of one of their NBA affiliates. Dakota travels to Tulsa for a makeup game on Sunday at 3 p.m.