An all-star selection on Friday was just the start in what turned out to be the weekend of Jimmer against the league’s best team.
The Sioux Falls Skyforce used a dominating fourth quarter to come from behind and knock off the Westchester Knicks 128-117 in the Sanford Pentagon on Friday night.
After giving up at least 30 points in each of the first three quarters, including 40 in the third, the Skyforce turned up the defense as they held the Knicks to just 14 fourth-quarter points to overcome a five-point deficit.
Sioux Falls had a tremendous shooting night in the win, knocking down 49 of 83 shots from the floor (59 percent), including 7 of 18 from beyond the arc. Bubu Palo led with 28 points on 8 for 10 shooting from the floor and 11 for 12 from the free-throw line as all eight players who saw action scored in double figures. Tre Kelley and Keith Benson added 17 points a piece while Byron Mullens managed 15 points and 16 rebounds.
Jimmer Fredette carried the scoring load as the Knicks faltered down the stretch in another tough loss. He finished with 36 points on 13 for 21 shooting from the floor, including 3 for 6 from beyond the arc and 7 for 9 from the free-throw line. He also totaled three rebounds, three assists and two steals in 37 minutes.
Jordan Bachynski also had a big night with 17 points on 7 for 12 shooting from the floor to go along with 11 rebounds and four blocked shots while Darion Atkins, Devondrick Walker and Travis Trice II each registered 15 points in the defeat. Trice also handed out a game high nine assists.
Fredette got off to a bit of a slow start on the night, missing his first two shots before he got on the scoreboard with a pair of free throws. After a driving lay up, he connected on his next two free throws for six first-quarter points to go along with two rebounds, two assists and a steal. He added seven points in th second quarter, including a three jump shots and a free throw.
He really got things rolling in the third quarter with a barrage a jump shots, including 15 points in a 3:17 span. He started the quarter off with a pair of floaters followed by a free throw before he caught fire. He nailed back-to-back 3-point shots and then a pair of jumpers as he scored 10 straight for the Knicks. He added five more quick points on another jumper and a 3-point play to finish the quarter 20 points.
He finished out the night with one more 3-point shot to finish one point shy of his D-League scoring high while handing out another assist in the final quarter.
The Westchester Knicks got their revenge from the night before with a 110-100 win over the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the Sanford Pentagon on Saturday.
While teams’ shooting cooled off from the night before, it was the outside marksmanship of the Knicks that helped propel them to the win as they converted on 9 of 17 shots from beyond the arc (53 percent).
Jimmer Fredette led the way for the second night in a row as he tied his D-League high with 37 points on 14 for 25 shooting from the floor, including 5 for 8 from 3-point land and 4 for 4 from the free-throw line. He added five rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals in 35 minutes.
Travis Trice II chipped in with 17 points, four rebounds and four assists while Gani Lawal added a huge double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds off the bench.
Bubu Palo paced the Skyforce in the loss with 24 points on 50 percent shooting while Byron Mullens totaled 20 points on 6 for 10 shooting from beyond the arc with 11 rebounds. Keith Benson registered 17 points and eight boards while Briante Webster also had a nice effort with 16 points, six assists, four rebounds and three steals.
Fredette started out the night with a 3-pointer before scoring eight more first quarter points on lay-ups, floaters and a spinning jumper from the free-throw line. He added five more points in the second including his second 3-pointer and another lay up.
He reached double figures for his second time in three quarters with a lay up, two 3-point shots and a jumper. He slowed down in the fourth, missing 5 of his 8 shots from the floor, but still managed 11 more points thanks to his fifth 3-pointer of the game as well as two jump shots and four free throws. He also had both of his steals in the quarter as the Knicks held off the Skyforce.
On the season, he is averaging 23.3 points on 48.9 percent shooting from the floor, including 43 percent from beyond the arc and 91.8 percent from the charity stripe. He also averages 5.0 assists, 4.6 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 36.9 minutes.
Up next for Fredette and the Knicks is another big break before they square off with the Skyforce again on Friday.