Thunderbirds Outlast Armor in Home Finale

SPRINGFIELD, MA MAR. 26, 2011 – Jamine Peterson scored a career-high 40 points to fuel the New Mexico Thunderbirds to a 121-101 victory over the Springfield Armor in front of 4,489 fans in the Armor’s home finale at the MassMutual Center.

The Armor and T’Birds battled to a 31-31 tie after one quarter, but Peterson scored 15 of his 40 points in the second, giving New Mexico an 11-point advantage heading into halftime.

New Mexico was hot from the field from start to finish (54% shooting), while the T’Birds’ defense improved dramatically after the first quarter. After the Armor shot 65 percent (11-17) in the first quarter, the Thunderbirds buckled down on the defensive end and held Springfield to only 35 percent (7-20) in the second quarter.

In the third quarter, it was more of the same. For the second straight quarter, the Armor were held to only 35 percent (7-20) from the field, while the Thunderbirds shot an impressive 60 percent (12-20).

With the win the Thunderbirds improve their record to 20-27. The Armor drop to 13-34.

In addition to Peterson, New Mexico got 20 points and 10 boards from Marcus Hubbard and 19 points and 6 assists from former Armor guard Abdulai Jalloh. Hubbard and Jalloh were two of six Thunderbirds to score in double figures on the evening.

The Armor were led by Craig Brackins, recently reassigned from the Philadelphia 76ers, who scored a team-high 23 points. Jerry Smith came off the Armor bench to score 22 points in 25 minutes, Lance Hurdle added 20 points and 5 assists, and Tre Whitted contributed 16 points off the bench in the losing effort.

The Thunderbirds, who remain just two games back of the eighth spot in the playoffs with three games to go, take on fellow playoff hopeful Fort Wayne on the road on Sunday. The Armor will return to action on Wednesday when they travel to Frisco, TX to battle the Texas Legends at 8:00 p.m. The game can be seen live on nba.com/futurecast.

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