RENO, Nev.—- The Reno Bighorns (11-16) defeated the Sioux Falls Skyforce (20-7) 129-116 Wednesday night at the Reno Events Center.
Sacramento Kings Affiliate Player Lamar Patterson led the Bighorns with a season-high 41 points while adding six rebounds and four assists while assignment player Isiah Cousins logged a double-double with 27 points and 11 rebounds. Kings assignment player Georgios Papagiannis recorded his third double-double of the season with 25 points and 15 rebounds.
Briante Weber paced the Skyforce with 34 points, seven rebounds and five assists while Keith Benson had 24 points and eight rebounds.
The Skyforce took control of the lead early, leading by more than five in the opening half of the first quarter before the Bighorns went on a 16-3 run to hold a 10-point advantage over the Skyforce with 2:22 left in play. The Skyforce went on a late 12-4 run to trail the Bighorns 28-26 heading into the second frame.
The momentum remained with the Bighorns to begin the second period with a 16-5 run behind a triple from Patterson to open their lead to as many as 13 points by the 7:23 mark. The Skyforce rallied back to retake control of the lead with 1:31 left to play in the first half. A floating jumper by Weber and two free-throws from Marcus Posley would give the Skyforce a 58-55 lead with under a minute in play. Cousins stepped to the line after being fouled by Weber to make two points to edge the Skyforce by one. Papagiannis sunk a three with .3 left in play in the first half to give the Bighorns the lead that would not be relinquished for the remainder of the game. The Bighorns went into the locker room at the half leading 62-60.
Patterson, Papagiannis and Cousins combined for a total of 57 points in the first half.
The Bighorns dominated the third frame, outscoring the Skyforce 36-25 to lead by as many at 13 points.
The teams remained scoreless the first two minutes of the fourth quarter before Skyforce’s Miller made a lay-up at the 10:00 mark. The Bighorns responded with a three and two free throws from Cousins to open the Bighorns’ lead to 17. The Skyforce would get within 10-points of the Bighorns with 3:26 to play before the Bighorns ran away with the lead to secure a 129-116 victory over the Skyforce.
The Bighorns will return to the Reno Events Center on Friday, Jan. 27 to host the Rio Grande Valley Vipers at 7 pm.
About the Reno Bighorns:
The Reno Bighorns are a member of the NBA Development League, the official minor league of the NBA. The Bighorns are affiliated with the Sacramento Kings. Season tickets for the 2016-17 season are on sale now! For more information, call the Bighorns front office at 775-853-8220 or visit RenoBighorns.com. Follow us on Twitter @renobighorns and “like” the Bighorns on Facebook at facebook.com/bighornshoops. The NBA Development League is the NBA’s official minor league, preparing players, coaches, officials, trainers, and front-office staff for the NBA while acting as the league’s research and development laboratory. Featuring 22 teams with direct affiliations with NBA franchises for the 2016-17 season, the league offers elite professional basketball at an affordable price in a fun, family-friendly atmosphere. An all-time high 38 percent of all NBA players at the end of the 2015-16 season boasted NBA D-League experience. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. Fans can watch all NBA D-League games on nbadleague.com.
The Bighorns almost pulled off a huge upset of the Central Division’s First Place Sioux Falls Skyforce (121-118). The game went back and forth and neither team ever got much of a lead but in the end, with the Bighorns down Quincy Miller, Jordan Hamilton, David Wear (all called up to the NBA…) and David Stockton out for family reasons… whew… the Bighorns ALMOST pulled off the upset! Here are some photos from the night… these remote shots from the night are MUCH better! 🙂