SIOUX FALLS, SD- The South Bay Lakers could not find their shot as they fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 108-100 (box score), on Tuesday night. South Bay (14-8) was paced by V.J. Beachem and Travis Wear, who both scored 19 points, but could not overcome their worst shooting performance of the season (32-81, 39.5%) in the loss. Larry Drew II led the Skyforce (10-13) with 29 points, including 8-11 from deep, as Sioux Falls picked up their 10th win of the year.
Sioux Falls came out of the gates firing as they hit 10 three pointers in the first quarter to take a 37-19 lead. Thomas Bryant scored seven points in the first, but South Bay shot only 25% from the field in the period. By halftime, the Skyforce led 65-48 as they shot 61.9% from the field. Drew II had 16 points for Sioux Falls, while Bryant, who picked up his second technical and was ejected just before the break, led South Bay with 14 at the half.
Beachem picked up his play in the third quarter with 10 points, but Sioux Falls would not relinquish their lead, as Drew II poured in 12 more to put the Skyforce up 95-77 through three. South Bay fought back in the final period, holding Sioux Falls to 13 points, but could not overcome the large deficit as they fell on the road.
Drew II stuffed the stat sheet (29 points, eight rebounds, seven assists) and Tony Mitchell grabbed a double-double (24 points, 11 rebounds) off the bench for the Skyforce. Ike Nwamu (17 points, six rebounds, four assists, three steals) and Kadeem Jack (13 points, seven rebounds) also scored in double figures for Sioux Falls.
Beachem (19 points, four rebounds, two assists) and Wear (19 points, eight rebounds) led the way for South Bay, while Scott Machado grabbed a double-double with 16 points and 12 assists. Bryant tallied 14 points and seven rebounds and Andre Ingram scored 10 points in his third consecutive start of the season. Vander Blue, coming off a back-to-back with the Los Angeles Lakers, scored five points in limited minutes.
The South Bay Lakers continue their road trip against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers on Thursday, January 4 at 5:00 from the State Farm Arena in a battle of the top two teams in the Western Conference.
The NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers, the first franchise in G League history to be owned by an NBA team (Los Angeles Lakers), returns for its 11th season of competition in 2017-18. The Lakers franchise has established itself as a top producer of NBA-ready talent, totaling 26 NBA Call-Ups and developing 19 Lakers assignment players since the inaugural 2006-07 season. Last season, the Lakers returned to the playoffs for the third time in the last four years and produced the league MVP in guard Vander Blue. The Lakers have claimed three division titles and have twice competed in the NBA G League Finals, most recently in 2015-16.