Sioux Falls 145, Colorado 122
SIOUX FALLS, S.D., March 31 – Stephen Graham posted a career-high 43 points as the Sioux Falls Skyforce set a D-league record for points in a game en route to a 145-122 victory over the Colorado 14ers Saturday night at the Sioux Falls Arena.
Sioux Falls (28-17) lit up the scoreboard in their final regular season home game and picked up a big win against a playoff-bound Colorado team after a heartbreaking loss last night against the rival Dakota Wizards. Colorado (27-18) led by as many as 17 points in the opening quarter but Sioux Falls was able to battle back and win in convincing fashion despite a season-high 43-point effort from Von Wafer.
“What a shootout that was between Stephen Graham and Von Wafer,” Sioux Falls head coach Mo McHone said. “Both those guys weren’t missing, they were just deadly.”
Sioux Falls stumbled out of the gates as Colorado led 26-9 with just over four minutes to play in the opening quarter. The Skyforce would cut the lead in half as they trailed 34-26 after one quarter. Sioux Falls eventually tied the contest at 34 early in the second quarter and the two teams went into halftime tied at 62.
Sioux Falls exploded for 44 points in the third quarter to take a 106-92 lead heading into the final stanza. It was much of the same in the fourth quarter as Sioux Falls scored 39 points in the fourth quarter which helped them break the D-League record for points in a half with 83 second-half points.
Graham’s big night overshadowed another stellar performance by Detroit Pistons assignee Amir Johnson as he finished the night with 21 points, 17 rebounds, eight assists and seven blocked shots. Sioux Falls’ other NBA assigned player from Detroit, Will Blalock, had one of his best outings with the Skyforce this season as he had 13 points and a season-high tying 11 assists.
Elton Brown scored 18 points while Rick Rickert posted a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds to support the team-high 43 points from Wafer. Pooh Jeter was the only other Colorado player in double figures as he finished with 12.
The two teams celebrated NBA Nights presented by adidas, a 13-game celebration of the relationship between the NBA and the NBA Development League, as Sioux Falls (Pistons) and Colorado (Nuggets) wore uniforms of one of their NBA affiliates.
Sioux Falls hits the road for a game against the Western Division-leading Idaho Stampede on Tuesday night at 7 p.m. MT. The Colorado 14ers return home for a game on Tuesday night against the Fort Worth Flyers at 7.pm. MT.