Memphis found much comfort on offense and great joy in defeating the Sioux Falls Skyforce 131-115 in the annual Christmas Day game at the Sanford Pentagon.

As the Hustle (8-12) piled up the points during the first three quarters, their lead grew as high as 30 points. A sixteen-point final margin was only slightly indicative of the gap between the two teams.

One of the most telling stats was that Sioux Falls (8-12) allowed their guests to score 86 points in the paint. Coach Nevada Smith was understandably disappointed in the results.

“It looked like (the Hustle) were playing five on 0, because we didn’t put up any resistance. We weren’t upset when they scored, just okay with it. Until it’s important to us to get stops, this is going to happen on a regular basis.”

One bright spot was Skyforce Guard Rodney Pryor who led the team in scoring with 28 points on 11 of 15 shooting. However he also noted the lack of fire from the team.

“Our effort from the jump (was subpar). We were too lackadaisical. They punched us in the mouth first and we didn’t really recover throughout the game.”

Other Skyforce contributors worthy of note include Tony Mitchell’s 24 points and Ike Nwamu’s 22 tallies. Meanwhile Larry Drew II finished with a double-double of 14 points and 11 assists.

For the Hustle, each of the nine players that appeared scored at least nine points. Best in show was Durand Scott’s 25 points and Chance Comanche with 20.

Sioux Falls will be back on the court Friday at home against the Northern Arizona Suns. Memphis continues their sojourn as Salt Lake City awaits their arrival on Wednesday.

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