ONTARIO, Calif. — A late Agua Caliente Clippers comeback attempt came up just short on Monday night, as they fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce at home, 117-112. With the loss, the Clippers slip to 18-23 overall and have yet to grab a win from Sioux Falls.
Kadeem Jack led the Skyforce with 23 points and Derrick Jones Jr. and Briante Weber both added 18. Weber also dished out 11 assists.
The two teams traded baskets in the opening minutes of play, but Skyforce guard Derrick Walton Jr. hit a three and set up Ike Nwamu for an alley-oop to put the visitors up five heading into the second quarter. The Skyforce came out hot in the second quarter, shooting 43 percent from deep (3-for-7) to go up by as many as 18 points, but Ike Iroegbu beat the buzzer to cut the lead to 15 before the half.
C.J. Williams and LaDontae Henton connected on back-to-back threes to open the second half and put the Clippers within nine, but Sioux Falls responded with a brief run and managed to push their lead back to 18.
Clippers guard Dakarai Allen refused to let the home team go away easily, as he went for nine points in the third to put the Clippers within 10 and position them to make a run heading into the final quarter.
Sioux Falls looked poised to run away with it halfway through the fourth, going up by 15 again, but the Clippers weren’t done. Tyler Roberson put up seven points in just under three minutes to keep momentum alive for the home team, and Williams and Tim Quarterman each hit a shot from deep to put the Clippers within five. Quarterman made a free throw and Williams hit again from beyond the arc to make it a one-point game with under a minute to play.
However, after a controversial no-call on a three-point attempt, Agua Caliente was forced to send the Skyforce to the free throw line, where they went 4-for-4 to pick up their third win over the Clippers.
Allen and Williams paced the Clippers with 20 points each, and Roberson added 18 points. Quarterman neared a triple-double, going for 11 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in his second game with the Clippers. DeAndre Daniels added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Iroegbu finished with 10 points, seven assists and seven rebounds. Recently-acquired forward Skylar Spencer added nine points, six rebounds and three blocks in his Clippers debut.
“We were saying we just needed to get their lead under ten points,” Allen said. “After we did that we knew we had life. With all our roster moves, Coach Casey (Hill) gives us great tips, to stay patient with each other and to just go out there and have fun. We’re going to get our legs up, have shoot around and get right back at it.”