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NBA D-League Power Rankings: January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012: The Austin Toros have gotten comfortable at the top of the D-League Power Rankings, where they've resided for five straight weeks thanks in large part to the stellar play of guard -- and All-Star candidate -- Justin Dentmon. Vote for your D-League All-Stars now and be sure to tune in to see the NBA D-League All-Star Game LIVE on Sat., Feb. 25 at 2pm ET on NBA TV.


TEAM REC. BREAKDOWN
--- 1st last week
18-4
The red-hot Toros refuse to budge from the top of the Power Rankings, going 2-0 for the week and winning 13 of their past 14 games. Forward Leo Lyons posted a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double in Austin's 106-92 win over Idaho, while top prospect Justin Dentmon chipped in with 24 points, six rebounds and six assists. East-leading Iowa and improving Rio Grande Valley are on tap this week.
--- 2nd last week
16-6
The defending NBA D-League champion Iowa Energy kept the heat on Austin with a 1-1 week, including a 92-83 win over Springfield. Guard Mike Efevberha scored a team-high 23 points and grabbed five rebounds for Iowa in the victory over the Armor, while forward Marqus Blakely came off the bench to scored 19 points, grab seven rebounds and make two steals. After the big game with top-ranked Austin on Jan. 27, the Energy have a pair of games against the Dakota Wizards.
--- 3rd last week
17-8
The D-Fenders maintained their hold on third place in the Rankings after going 1-1 in back-to-back games with local rival Bakersfield Jam. Former NBA slam dunk champion Gerald Green went off for 30 points and 10 rebounds in the 105-88 win over the Jam, while Elijah Millsap, younger brother of Utah's Paul, posted a 26-point, 14-rebound, 10-assist triple-double in a bid to join his sibling in the NBA. Another showdown with Bakersfield and a pair of games with Canton are up next for L.A.
--- 4th last week
16-9
The Vipers went 3-0 for the week and now sport a five-game win streak, helping them to solidify their fourth-place spot in the Power Rankings. Big man Greg Smith sparked a 104-97 win over Fort Wayne on Jan. 25, posting a 17-point, 13-rebound double-double for Rio Grande Valley while guard Kelvin Lewis scored a team-high 22 points, including 5-of-6 three-pointers. The Vipers have a pair of games against Texas rival Texas Legends this weekend.
--- 5th last week
12-10
Bakersfield split a pair of games with the third-ranked D-Fenders over the weekend, highlighted by a 110-107 victory over their Golden State neighbors on Saturday. The Jam back court led the way against L.A. as Osiris Eldridge scored a team-high 24 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out three assists. Another big game against the D-Fenders is on tap in addition to hosting Canton.
--- 6th last week
12-12
Tulsa rebounded quickly from a post-Showcase, four-game losing streak to win two straight games this week over Iowa and Dakota. Forward Marcus Lewis had double-doubles in both wins (15 points and 16 rebounds vs. DAK and 15 points and 17 boards vs. IWA) as did teammate and OKC assignee Ryan Reid (19 points and 10 boards vs. DAK and 16 points and 11 boards vs. IWA). Tulsa looks to extend its winning ways when the Stampede host Fort Wayne for a pair of games this weekend.
8th last week
12-12
Springfield went 2-2 for week and edged up one slot in the Power Rankings. Forward Jordan Williams, assigned to the Armor from the teams NBA affiliate New Jersey Nets, posted an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double in a 104-92 victory over the Charge on Jan. 24, while Dennis Horner, who recently returned from a stint with the Nets, chipped in with a 19-point, five rebound effort. Springfield faces Idaho and Reno this week.
7th last week
11-12
Reno dropped a spot in the Rankings after an 0-2 week, but the big news for the Bighorns was point guard Blake Ahearn extending his D-League record for consecutive free-throws-made to 99 in the Jan. 21 loss to the Vipers. After hitting his 98th consecutive successful free-throw, he's now made more in a row than anyone in NBA D-League and NBA history, after Micheal Williams hit 97 straight in 1993. Ahearn is now 35 away from UCLA coaching legend John Wooden's all-time professional record of consecutive free throws made (Wooden hit 134 in a row in 1932 while playing in the NBL). Ahearn continues his streak Sat., Jan. 28 at Springfield.
12th last week
11-13
Texas jumped three spots in the Rankings with a 2-0 week, running the Legends' post-Showcase win streak to four straight games. Dallas Mavericks assignee Sean Williams made his presence felt in both wins over the Canton Charge, combing for 41 points and 28 rebounds for the Legends. Texas host two games against the local rival Rio Grande Valley Vipers this weekend, when they will also honor Basketball Hall of Famer Marques Haynes.
--- 10th last week
10-12
The Wizards held onto the 10th slot in the Rankings with a 1-1 week. Top NBA prospect Edwin Ubiles led the way in Dakota's 111-107 victory over the Springfield Armor on Jan. 21, scoring a game-high 28 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists. Dakota hosts the defending D-League Champion Iowa Energy on Jan. 28, before traveling to Iowa for a rematch on Feb. 3.
--- 11th last week
10-13
Erie split a pair of games against the Maine Red Claws for the week amid a flurry of NBA-related activity. New York Knicks asignee Jeremy Lin posted a 28-point, 12-assist, 11-rebound triple-double in a 122-113 victory over Maine on Jan. 20, before the BayHawks acquired veteran NBA guards Devin Brown and Keith McLeod. The new-look BayHawks host Sioux Falls in a pair of games this weekend.
9th last week
10-14
Canton had a tough week, dropping a pair of games to Dallas Mavericks asignee Sean Williams and the Texas Legends and a single match with Springfield. Former University of Michigan guard Manny Harris was a bright spot for the Charge, scoring a combined 61 points in the three losses. Canton heads West for a California road trip this weekend, facing Bakersfield on Jan. 27 and then L.A. on Jan. 28 and Jan. 30.
12th last week
9-15
Fort Wayne went 1-2 for the week, but edged up to the Rankings due to percentage points gained from the one victory and Idaho's winless week (see below). Former Pitt forward Gilbert Brown paced the Mad Ants in a 97-93 Jan. 21 win over Sioux Falls, scoring a team-high 19 points, grabbing nine rebounds and dishing out four assists. Fort Wayne travels Oklahoma for a pair of games against the Tulsa 66ers this weekend.
13th last week
8-14
Center Mikki Moore had two straight strong games for the Stampede, but unfortunately they came against the D-League powerhouse Austin Toros. Moore posted two consecutive 19-point, 11-rebound double-doubles but it wasn't enough, as the Toros came away with wins. Idaho hopes to get back on the winning track with games at Springfield and Maine this week.
--- 15th last week
8-16
Maine snapped a three-game losing streak with a big 110-88 victory over the Erie BayHawks on Jan. 22. Former NBA guard Morris Almond showed the way for the Red Claws in the win, scoring a team-high 27 points and grabbing nine rebounds. Almond is averaging 22.3 points and 7.3 rebounds per game since joining Maine. The Red Claws host Idaho and Reno this weekend.
--- 16th last week
7-17
Sioux Falls split a pair of games with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants this week, highlighted by 106-102 victory at Sioux Falls Arena. Forward Trey Gilder exploded for 31 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the Skyforce win. Sioux Falls has two games at Erie this weekend followed by two games at Springfield in an extended Eastern trip.