Thunderbirds 123, Toros 117 (F)
AUSTIN, Texas, Jan. 12 – The Albuquerque Thunderbirds held off a late surge by the Austin Toros in the fourth quarter to hold onto the 123-117 victory on Saturday night at the Austin Convention Center. The Toros were unable to overcome an 18-point deficit and saw their franchise record 11 game home winning streak come to an end.
The Toros had no answer the entire night for newly assigned Phoenix Suns forward Alando Tucker, who scored a team-high 33 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Tucker was red hot in the first half, scoring 20 of his points before halftime on 8-of-12 shooting. Albuquerque used a 14-0 run to begin the third quarter and pushed the lead 78-60 following a pair of free throws by Alando Tucker with 9:16 remaining in the quarter.
Austin would get the lead down one point twice early into the fourth quarter but could not get any closer to the Thunderbirds, who improved their record to 7-8 on the season. With the loss to Albuquerque, Austin fell to 13-5 and had their six game winning streak snapped.
Keith Langford scored a season-high 36 points along with six rebounds and three assists. San Antonio Spurs assignee Ian Mahinmi was plagued with foul trouble throughout the game and was held to four points and five rebounds. Cheyne Gadson added 22 points and nine assists and Justin Reed pitched in a season-high 13 points.
The Thunderbirds finished the game with five players scoring in double figures including 19 points from Daniel Horton and Kevin Pittsnogle. Josh Gross added 12 and Ali Berdiel had 11 points along with four rebounds. Albuquerque travels to the Rio Grande Valley to take on the Vipers tomorrow night at 7 p.m.