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Skyforce Backcourt Drives Sioux Falls Past Flash

Sioux Falls 101, Utah 97

OREM, Utah, Jan. 25 -- Elton Nesbitt, David Bailey and Carl Elliot combined for 57 points as the Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Utah Flash, 101-97, in NBA Development League action Friday at the McKay Events Center.

Nesbitt led all scorers with 20 points, including 4-of-7 from the three-point line. Bailey added 18 points and Elliot contributed 19 points off the Skyforce bench.

“We probably start the smallest backcourt in the D-League, and anytime you can get that kind of production from those guys (Nesbitt, Bailey and Elliot), you are going to win a lot of games,” Sioux Falls coach Nate Tibbetts said.

The Skyforce (11-14) set the tone early with a 34-point first quarter and then took advantage of 22 Flash turnovers to send a Utah crowd of 5,594 home disappointed.

“They set the tone early by coming out and hitting a bunch of shots while our guys just kind of stood around,” Flash coach Brad Jones said. “I didn’t think we came out and let them know that they were in for a fight.”

All five Flash starters scored in double-digits. Kevin Kruger scored 18 points and was an assist shy of a double-double. Britton Johnsen and Brian Hamilton chipped in 17 and 15 points, respectively. Brian Jackson and Kyrylo Fesenko finished with 11 points each.

“Utah is a very well coached team, and we knew that they would battle for the full 48 minutes,” Tibbetts said. “We knew we wanted to get off to a really quick start, and for some reason we did that tonight.”

Kasib Powell finished with 16 points for the Skyforce and Michael Joiner recorded 10.

Sioux Falls heads to Albuquerque to take on the Thunderbirds on Saturday at Tingley Coliseum. The Flash, now 13-11, will travel to Los Angeles to take on the D-Fenders on Sunday in the first of a six-game road trip.