GRAND RAPIDS, MI — The Drive (9-5) dominated the second half after a slow start on Friday night, topping the Skyhawks (5-6) by a final of 116-100. Grand Rapids were down 10 at halftime, but Pistons rookie Sekou Doumbouya flipped the switch, changing the momentum by draining three 3-pointers in a row early in the third. With a combination of tough defense and a fluid offense, the Drive chipped away at the 18-point deficit until they took and maintained the lead after a hard-fought 24-0 run in the third.
After getting assigned by the Pistons earlier in the day, the 18-year-old Doumbouya was on fire tonight from deep, racking up 27 points, shooting 5-10 beyond the 3-point line, to go along with 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Two-way player Jordan Bone served up another big game, finishing with 24 points, 8 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Donta Hall wasn’t able to secure his sixth-straight double-double, but still pulled out a solid performance with 20 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Big man Adam Woodbury added 12 points and 9 rebounds and Louis King returned from a two-game hiatus and contributed 12 points, 4 rebounds and 3 steals.
Former Michigan State stud Nick Ward led the Skyhawks with a double-double, earning 23 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocks. Other Skyhawks in double digits were Hawks two-way player Brandon Goodwin (17 points, 7 assists & 2 steals), Cat Barber (15 points, 6 assists & 4 rebounds) and Charles Brown Jr. (15 points, 4 rebounds & 2 blocks).
The Drive’s big win was attributed to the team shooting 46.6% from the field (41-90), coupled with their ability to out-rebound the visiting team 50-41 and their intensity on defense earning them 18 steals on the night.
Both teams will head to Atlanta tomorrow for a Sunday afternoon rematch against each other at Gateway Center Arena. Tip-off is at 7 p.m. on NBA TV.