(Bakersfield, Calif. – April 2, 2010)
— One team entered Friday’s Jam-Skyforce matchup with an opportunity to improve their playoff standing while the other can only watch the postseason from home, and both looked their part as Sioux Falls led wire to wire in a 123-110 defeat of Bakersfield.
Kirk Penney was the runaway star of the game, posting a remarkable 40-point effort in just his third game with the Skyforce. Penney shot 16-for-23 from the field and 5-for-6 from three-point range as the Jam proved incapable of stopping his jump shot, and grabbed eight rebounds to complement his offensive effort.
Jam guard Trey Johnson did his best to combat Penney’s scoring effort, and finished with 28 points and six assists in the loss. Brian Butch once again led Bakersfield in the rebounding department with 13 boards on the night, but failed to record a double-double for the first time since the All-Star break as he finished with only nine points on 4-for-14 shooting.
If Penney was the shooting standout, it was diminutive floor general David Bailey who kept the rock moving for Sioux Falls as he piled up 19 assists against only two turnovers and fell just three rebounds short of a triple double with 10 points and seven boards. Bailey set the tone early in terms of sharing the ball, and his teammates followed suit as the Skyforce finished with 41 assists on their 51 baskets.
Penney’s fellow Wisconsin alum Joe Krabbenhoft also excelled in a starting role for Sioux Falls, dropping in 24 points to go with six rebounds and five assists. Center Greg Stiemsma – also a former Badger – grabbed a 12-point, 10-rebound double-and also managed to stay within one of Maine Red Claw Kurt Looby in the race for the NBA D-League’s All-Time Single-Season Block mark with four swats on the evening.
One bright spot for Bakersfield was John Williams’ play off the bench, as the sharpshooter hit both of his three-pointers on the way to a 12-point evening and also grabbed three boards and three assists in 22 minutes of reserve action. Jeremy Wise (15 points), Will Daniels (13 points, all in the first half) and Reece Gaines (12 points) rounded out the double-figure scorers for the Jam.
Chris McCray added 17 for Sioux Falls, thanks in large part to his 4-for-7 three-point shooting on a night where the Skyforce team combined to shoot 50% from long distance. Minnesota Timberwolves assignee Nathan Jawai contributed 10 points and five rebounds in his 15 minutes off of the bench.
The Jam will once again play host to the Skyforce on Saturday night in the season finale for both teams. Tip-off is at 7:00pm Pacific Time at Bakersfield’s Jam Events Center