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Topperts Hot Hand Not Enough as T-Birds Fall to Skyforce, 100-90

ALBUQUERQUE, NM, Feb. 10, 2010 – A career best performance from Chad Toppert couldn’t save the Albuquerque Thunderbirds on Wednesday night, as the team fell to the Sioux Falls Skyforce, 100-90. Toppert scored 27 points to lead all scorers, shooting 7-7 from beyond the three point line and 9-10 from the field overall.

Antoine Agudio added 16 points for Albuquerque. D-League All-Star Carlos Powell posted 11 points and seven assists for the T-Birds.

Sioux Falls used an 11-0 run in the opening quarter to build a lead it would never relinquish, and the T-Birds failed to get within five the rest of the way.

Sioux Falls led 54-46 at the half, and held the Thunderbirds in check throughout the opening frame. The lead remained near double digits for much of the second half, as Albuquerque struggled to find an offensive rhythm.

On multiple occasions in the second half the T-Birds had a shot to cut the lead to five or fewer, but the team stalled on the offensive end. The Skyforce pushed the lead to double figures early in the fourth quarter and Albuquerque was never able to mount a substantial run as Sioux Falls held on for the 10 point win.

Alexander Johnson notched 24 points to lead the way for Sioux Falls. Reggie Williams added 22 for the Skyforce.

The loss snaps a three game winning streak for Albuquerque, and the team’s record currently stands at 16-14.

A pair of Thunderbirds will be participating during the NBA D-League’s All-Star weekend, with Powell and Tony Danridge competing during NBA Development League Dream Factory Friday Night presented by Haier. Powell will also compete during the All-Star game on Saturday, representing the Western Conference.