Kirk Penney explodes for 31 points in D-League

Installed to the starting line-up, Tall Black Kirk Penney exploded for 31 points in his second game for the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the NBA D-League today.

Penney, starting at small forward and wearing No 18 on his back, finished with a game-high 31 points on 12-of-17 shooting from the field, adding four rebounds, three assists and a steal in 43 minutes of game time in a 113-104 home win over the Springfield Armor.

Penney, who had 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, went 2-of-4 on three-point attempts and 5-of-8 on free-throws in his second game for the Skyforce (30-18), who are chasing home-court advantage for the D-League playoffs.

"I'm just trying to get my legs under me and figure out what we're running," Penney told the Argus Leader newspaper.

"Half the time I feel like I don't know what I'm doing but we've got a good team and a great group of guys and I'm just happy to be a part of it."

With ailing bodies, Skyforce coach Tony Fritz went with a seven-man rotation for the second game of back-to-back home games against the struggling Armor.

"Kirk did a great job of doing what we got him to do, which is knock down shots and spread the floor. He and Jared Newson were our only healthy bodies and it showed," Fritz told the Argus Leader.

The Skyforce opened the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run, leading by as many as 20 points before a late effort by Springfield (7-40) made it closer than the 5,305 in attendance at Sioux Falls Arena would have expected.

Following the eighth-straight home win, Sioux Falls can clinch the four seed before playing another game if the Dakota Wizards lose against the Iowa Energy, who have already secured the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Sioux Falls has just two games remaining on their regular season schedule, a road double-header at the Bakersfield Jam (17-30) next Saturday and Sunday (NZ time), before the playoffs start on April 5.