After trailing by as many as 18 points in the second quarter, the Sioux Falls Skyforce cut the deficit to just a single point (88-87) with 5:10 left in the game before ultimately falling 99-92 to the Oklahoma City Blue on Tuesday night at the Sanford Pentagon.
Oklahoma City Thunder two-way player Luguentz Dort (21 points) led the Blue (7-12) in scoring followed closely by fellow two-way player Kevin Hervey (19 points and 11 rebounds) who tallied the game’s only double-double.
Sioux Falls’ bench unit was largely responsible for the second-half comeback, led by Bubu Palo (16 points, 8-10 FT), and Marcus Lee (12 points). Lee finished a team-high plus-20 in the game despite the seven-point loss. Jeremiah Martin (13 points) also turned up the heat in the final period, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the fourth quarter alone.
In the end, the Blue held the Skyforce to just 34.9 percent from the field, marking the third-straight game that Sioux Falls has failed to eclipse 40 percent from the field.
Thunder assignee Justin Patton (13 points, six rebounds and three blocks), Myke Henry (12 points), DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell (12 points) and Vincent Edwards (10 points) rounded out the double-digit performances for Oklahoma City in the victory.
Additional Skyforce notables included Jarrett Jack (11 points) and Davon Reed (11 points). Miami HEAT assignee KZ Okpala tallied eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds in the loss, while HEAT two-way player Daryl Macon (eight points) was held under 10 points for the first time in 15 games played this season.
The Skyforce will stay at home for the second of a three-game homestand, taking on the South Bay Lakers (9-9) on Thursday, January 2 at 6:30 PM CT at the Sanford Pentagon. Meanwhile, the Blue now travel east to take on the Erie BayHawks (6-13) at 6:00 PM CT on Friday, January 3.