VIPERS WIN TENTH IN A ROW, SWEEP WIZARDS
BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA – The defending NBA Development League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers extended their franchise-record winning streak to ten in a row by beating the Dakota Wizards 114-101 on Saturday at the Bismarck Civic Center.
The Wizards (7-20) got off to a hot start for the second straight game. Leading 14-10 at the 4:45 mark of the first quarter, Chris Johnson scored five points as part of a 9-0 run that gave the Wizards a 23-10 lead until Terrel Harris hit a three-pointer at the 2:37 mark for the Vipers (17-7).
The Wizards scored the first five points of the second quarter to build a 14-point lead, their largest of the game at the 10:39 mark of the second quarter. After hitting 2-of-12 shots from behind the arc, the Vipers hit their final three three-pointers of the first half, two by Richard Roby and one by Mouhammad Faye to pull within 57-53.
Roby opened the third quarter with another three-pointer, and then, two minutes later, Houston Rockets-assignee Ish Smith hit a jumper to give the Vipers their first lead at 60-59.
The game became a back-and-forth affair from there, with the Vipers taking the lead for good when Jerel McNeal hit a three-pointer with 4:52 remaining to make it 94-91.
The Vipers were led in scoring by Roby, who scored 22 points to go with nine rebounds. Harris scored 20 points while hitting 4-of-6 shots from behind the arc while Jeff Adrien recorded his 11th double-double in 15 games with 19 points and 13 rebounds. Smith recorded his first double-double with 11 points and 10 assists.
The Wizards were led in scoring by Johnson, who scored 34 points with 14 rebounds, four steals and four blocks.
The Vipers return to action on Friday at 7:00 p.m. when they visit the Iowa Energy at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.