Two of the heaviest hitters in the G League’s Western Conference went toe-to-toe and it was the Sioux Falls Skyforce coming away with the win 103-96 over the Santa Cruz Warriors.

From a tie game midway through the second quarter, momentum shifted toward Sioux Falls (20-10) with a 22-2 run that the Warriors could not overcome. A fourth-quarter surge brought Santa Cruz (22-7) within five points but no closer.

Skyforce Head Coach Nevada Smith says everything clicked defensively.

“I thought we did a good job staying in front (of them), talking through different actions and our help side was really good, our strengths were really good. We were over early and made them pick up (the dribble) and allowed us to get back weakside. That’s just carry over from the last couple of games. If can continue to do that, we’ve got a high ceiling.”

Additionally Skyforce guard Briante Weber says the team was inspired by early effort on the boards that carried through the contest.

“(Duncan Robinson) set the tone with boxing out (a bigger player). By us seeing Duncan do it, we knew that everyone should follow that example and box out. At the same time, we got a big addition with Marcus (Lee) being big out there and helping us on the boards.”

Skyforce forward Marcus Lee made his Skyforce debut after suffering a knee injury during the preseason with the Miami Heat. Robinson’s 24 points and Weber’s 22 paced Sioux Falls while Santa Cruz got 21 from guard Kendrick Nunn and 18 from forward Damion Lee.

Sioux Falls will head east for two games starting with a date at Delaware on Friday. A road game awaits Santa Cruz also on Friday against Stockton.

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