CLEVELAND, OH –
On Tuesday night, the Charge snapped a 3-game losing streak after defeating the SkyForce 126-111. Sharife Cooper shined in the game, tying his season high in assists with 12 while adding 34 points. The Charge look to repeat their performance as they welcome the SkyForce back to the Wolstein Center for their matchup Wednesday night. The Charge will be without Center Mamadi Diakite who is on a 2-way contract. Diakite put up 21 points, 5 assists, and 5 blocks Tuesday night. He suited up for the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night for their matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Bench Production Leads Sioux Falls
For much of the opening frame, the Charge and SkyForce were trading shots. The SkyForce started hitting the 3-ball with consistency early on. Tyler Hagedorn and Jon Elmore started it for the SkyForce. After their fast start, Sioux Falls turned to their bench players. Kadeem Jack came in with a force in the first quarter. He dropped 8 points and 2 rebounds off the bench. The Charge got quick production in the form of Isaiah Mobley. Mobley put up 11 points in the opening frame for the Charge. After the 1st quarter, Cleveland trailed Sioux Falls 31-28.
Charge Surge in 2nd Quarter
The Charge got off to a fast start in the 2nd quarter by quickly taking the lead with multiple 3-pointers. The Charge took over from there. Sharife Cooper shined in the quarter dropping 11 points and 3 assists. His running mate Isaiah Mobley added another 7 points to his stat line. Perhaps the most important part of the first half was the Charge defense on SkyForce big man Orlando Robinson. In Tuesday night’s game, Robinson put up 22 points and 11 rebounds. Through the first half of the game, the Charge held Robinson to just 2 points. With the combination of good offense and defense, the Charge outscored the SkyForce 42-27 in the 2nd quarter. They held a 70-58 lead heading into halftime.
Sioux Falls Closes the Gap
After holding Orlando Robinson to just 2 points in the first quarter, he took over in the 3rd. Robinson had it his way in the paint all quarter long. He put up 16 points to go along with 4 rebounds in the 3rd. Robinson was not the only way who had it going for the SkyForce. DJ Stewart had 10 points in the 3rd that put his game total to 23 points. Sioux Falls did not get much more offensive help though. The rest of the team mustered just 4 points throughout the quarter. After outscoring the Charge 30-26 in the quarter, Sioux Falls cut the lead to 8 points. Cleveland held a 96-88 lead going into the 4th quarter.
Cleveland Closes the Game with Defense
Shots were hard to come by early in the final frame for either team. The Charge were locking down on the defensive end. As soon as the Charge started hitting shots, they went on a run. They extended their lead to 17 points after a 13-4 run led by Nate Hinton. Hinton scored 10 points in the quarter for the Charge, giving him 23 on the night. It was his defense though that shined the brightest. He finished the game with 4 steals but did more than just the box score stats. He hustled for loose balls, disrupted passing lanes, and led with energy on the defensive end. After the game when asked about his work on defense, he had this to say, “Defense has been my calling card and how I came up with the game from the little leagues… The coaching staff approached me and said they want me to set the tone for the team defensively.” The Charge defense held Sioux Falls to just 15 points in the 4th quarter. At the final buzzer, the Charge came away with a 115-103 victory over the SkyForce.
Isaiah Mobley: 26 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists
Sharife Cooper: 25 points, 6 assists
Nate Hinton: 23 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, 5/6 3-pointers
Sioux Falls SkyForce:
DJ Stewart: 27 points, 2 steals
Orlando Robinson: 20 points, 16 rebounds
Jon Elmore: 20 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists
The Cleveland Charge have a few days off before their next matchup. On Monday, December 5th, they welcome the Windy City Bulls into town. The game will begin at 6PM ET. You can watch the game on NBAGleague.com or listen to it on NEO Sports Radio.
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