Print RSS Sign-Up for Insider

Albuquerque Ends Skyforce Win Streak

Thunderbirds 111, Skyforce 104

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Dec. 29 -- Friday was a night of streaks as Albuquerque used a 111-104 victory over the Skyforce at the Sioux Falls Arena to end their four-game losing streak and Sioux Falls' six-game home win streak.

"We wanted to get off this slide," Albuquerque Thunderbirds head coach Michael Cooper said. "We got a big game tomorrow in Fort Worth. This is a good one to win so we can hopefully catapult ourselves into some winning after this."

The game was back and forth with 22 ties and 25 lead changes in the first three periods. Forward Dijon Thompson helped propel the Thunderbirds to a 6-0 run early in the fourth as Albuquerque took the lead and never looked back. Thompson led the Thunderbirds with 25 points and nine rebounds. Albuquerque forward Duane Erwin recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds in a game that was slowed by 34 foul calls on the Thunderbirds. Albuquerque leads the league in that category.

"You never want to lead the league in that," Cooper said. "That's the way they were called though. We're going to keep playing."

Sioux Falls, however, couldn't capitalize on all the calls as the Skyforce went 55 percent (24-of-43) from the charity stripe.

"You can see fatigue," Sioux Falls Skyforce head coach Mo McHone said. "Fatigue usually shows up in missed free throws."

Sioux Falls, who played on Christmas day and Thursday night, was led by forward Andre Brown with 22 points and seven rebounds. Forward Jeff Varem chipped in 16 points and 10 rebounds in a game that saw neither team pull away early. The Thunderbirds biggest lead until the fourth quarter was six in the second. Albuquerque center Manual Narvaez's inside presence in the quarter complimented Thompson's outside shooting. Both contributed six in the quarter to help the Thunderbirds take a 56-53 advantage at halftime.

The Skyforce tips off against Tulsa Friday at 7 p.m., while Fort Worth hosts Albuquerque at 6:30 p.m. Saturday.