Tale of Two Games: Mad Ants, Warriors Take Thursday's Game 1s

Thursday's tip-off of both NBA D-League semifinals series saw two very different games play out. In Sioux Falls, the Skyforce appeared to be holding serve at home, where they went a league-best 19-6 during the regular season (tied with their opponent, the Mad Ants). Sioux Falls closed the third quarter on a 10-2 run to take a 12-point lead into the fourth.

Meanwhile, on CBS Sports Network the Santa Cruz Warriors blitzed the RGV Vipers right off the bat, essentially delivering the knockout blow in the first 12 minutes. They led 41-23 after the first quarter, with 7-footer Ognjen Kuzmic setting the tone on what would be a dominant night inside. Santa Cruz's lead continued to balloon as the Sea-Dubs gave the Vipers a taste of their own medicine in a 135-104 romp. It was RGV's lowest point total this season.

Down 10 with five minutes left, Fort Wayne stormed back behind its usual team effort. It eventually culminated with the ball in Tony Mitchell's hands, the score tied and the clock winding down. T-Mitch did the rest:

KEYS TO THE GAME:

1
Balanced Effort: Eight players scored in double figures

2
Attack Mentality: Shot 23/26 at rim; consistently beat SXF backdoor

3
Pushed the Pace: Game featured 105 possessions; Mad Ants scored 30 fastbreak points vs. Skyforce's 14

1
Easy Buckets: Got high-percentage FGs -- 33/51 (65%) within 14 feet

2
Defended Without Fouling: RGV shot 16 FTs, 11 below season avg.

3
Dominant Inside: 21 offensive rebounds; Kuzmic & Goulbourne combined 16/22 FG, 37 points, 34 rebounds



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