Shootout Turns into Struggle as Sioux Falls Skyforce Win
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Through three quarters, the offenses were well-oiled machines. Not so in the fourth as the two teams combined for 25 points as the defenses took over in a 92-88 Sioux Falls Skyforce win over the Maine Red Claws Friday night at the Portland Expo Building.
Henry Walker, formerly known as Bill buried a long three point basket off the dribble near the close of the third period. The bucket was big as it gave the Skyforce (7-2) the lead for good at 78-76. Walker was outstanding with a total stat line of 21 points, 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. The last two points that Walker scored could have been wiped away.
Walker drove the lane and floated up a shot that went through with 3.7 seconds left. However the shot clock reached 0 before Walker released. Strangely neither the buzzer sounder nor did an indicator light illuminate. The officials decided not to review the play and the outcome was decided. Considering Maine was 3 of 16 shooting in the fourth quarter the trends were against a conversion.
Justin Hamilton has worked his way on to the prospect list landing this week at #26 amongst those rating the talent pool in the NBA Development League. The 7-foot center backed up his lofty status with 23 points and 9 rebounds with Charlie Westbrook adding 14 points and 5 rebounds also another steady hand shown by DeAndre Liggins with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals. Liggins has been on the Prospect Watch all season long with the latest ranking at #11.
Maine (5-3) was paced by 23 points and 8 rebounds off the bench by guard Frank Gaines plus 19 points contributed by guard Kam Taylor. Both teams will play at Springfield for their next outings. The Skyforce will go for their fifth straight win Saturday night while Maine will tussle with the Armor on Sunday.