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Skyforce Handles Austin, 101-81, in MLK Showcase

Sioux Falls 101, Austin 81

SIOUX FALLS, S.D., Jan. 15 -- Amir Johnson put together a 23-point performance and was a dominant presence inside while leading the Sioux Falls Skyforce to a 101-81 victory over the Austin Toros in the third game of the 2007 NBA Development League MLK Showcase Monday at the Sioux Falls Arena.

Johnson, on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, added eight rebounds, four blocked shots and three steals from his forward position to help the Skyforce improve to 12-9 on the season.

“Some of the things he [Amir] does, you know why he’s in the NBA,” Sioux Falls coach Mo McHone said. “I think he showed why they picked him. As young as he is, he’s got such a great upside.”

Johnson combined with center Jared Reiner, who had 17 points and eight rebounds, as the Skyforce controlled scoring in the paint 48-38.

“It’s fun to watch a team play together like they played tonight,” McHone said. “That right there is about as much fun as you can have.”

Sioux Falls’ inside game counteracted a poor performance from the outside. The Skyforce converted just 5-of-18 (27-percent) from behind the three-point arc. The Toros (5-15) couldn’t find their stroke inside or outside, making just 30-of-77 (39-percent) from the floor and 2-of-9 three point attempts (22-percent).

“I thought defensively we were really good,” McHone said. “I’m sure they didn’t have one of their best games, though.”

Guard Troy Bell led all Toro scorers with 21 points, while forward James White and center Anthony Fuqua both contributed 12.

Both teams have Tuesday off before resuming play in the Showcase again Wednesday. Austin faces the Bakersfield Jam at 11 a.m. CT while Sioux Falls faces the Fort Worth Flyers at 5 p.m.