SIOUX FALLS, SD – Behind a career-high 36 points from Ja’Vonte Smart, the Sioux Falls Skyforce defeated the Grand Rapids Gold 115-101 on Saturday night from the Sanford Pentagon.
Smart (13-20 FGA, 7-13 3PA, five rebounds and four assists) has scored in double-figures in all four games in a Skyforce jersey. The rookie has also scored 18-or-more points in the last three games, as well.
Nik Stauskas (23 points on 7-17 FGA and seven rebounds) created early momentum for the Gold (1-1). He had 11 points in the opening period, which helped cement a 30-26 lead heading to the second quarter.
The Skyforce (1-3) responded, holding Grand Rapids to just 32% shooting (8-32 FGA) in the second quarter. It was the lowest quarter shooting-percentage they have held a team so far this season. The defense helped propel a 49-48 lead at halftime.
It was the most efficient third quarter to date for Sioux Falls, as well, as they shot 54.5% (12-22 FGA). Smart scored or assisted on 16-of-32 Skyforce points in the period.
After being down 93-92, Sioux Falls responded with an 18-0 run midway through the fourth quarter, which solidified the first victory in the Kasib Powell era.
Brandon Knight continued his efficient play, boasting 16 points and six assists. He has now 15-plus points and five-plus assists in all four games this season. DJ Stewart (14 points on 6-12 FGA) has now scored in double-figures in three-of-four games. Miami HEAT two-way player Marcus Garrett was the other Skyforce player in double figures, putting up 13 points (6-9 FGA), five assists and four rebounds.
Denver Nuggets two-way player Petr Cornelie (21 points and 11 rebounds) posted his second consecutive double double in the loss. Davon Reed chipped in 16 points, seven assists and seven rebounds, as well.
Sioux Falls will continue its six-game homestand on Saturday, November 27 against the Cleveland Charge (2-2) at 7:00PM CST at the Sanford Pentagon. Grand Rapids heads to Des Moines to face the Iowa Wolves (3-0) on Monday, November 15 at 7:00PM CST.