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Late Rally Not Enough, Bighorns Force Game 3

Box score

HIDALGO, TEXAS – After trailing by as many as 19 points, the Western Conference Champion and second-seeded Rio Grande Valley Vipers came back to take the lead in the final minutes before the sixth-seeded Reno Bighorns closed the game on a 7-0 run to beat the Vipers 128-126 in game two of the 2010 NBA Development League Quarterfinals tonight at State Farm Arena in front of a crowd of 4,206.

The deciding game three is Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at State Farm Arena. Doors open at 6:30. Houston Rockets Hall of Fame Mascot Clutch the Bear will perform again and the first 1,000 fans in attendance will receive Clutch Storybooks. Doors open at 6:30.

Down 119-106 with 6:34 left, Craig Winder hit a lay-up, Will Conroy hit a lay-up and a three-pointer and then Antonio Anderson hit a lay-up to make it a four-point game. After a timeout, Conroy drove into the lane for a lay-up to cap an 11-0 run with the score 119-117 Bighorns (1-1) with 3:24 left. After a Rod Benson lay-up, Conroy converted a three-point play to make it a one-point game. Julian Sensley spun into the lane with 2:21 left to hit a lay-up, giving the Vipers their first lead since midway though the first quarter at 122-121.

Will Blalock hit a pair of free throws to tie the game at 126 with 43.5 seconds left. And DJ Strawberry drove baseline for a bank shot to give the Bighorns a 128-126 lead with 5.8 seconds left.

Former-Viper Desmon Farmer stole the ball off the inbounds pass with 1.5 seconds left to end the game.

The Bighorns shot 63% from the field while the Vipers (1-1) shot 51.5%.

Farmer scored the Bighorns’ first nine points, but the Vipers led 12-9 at the first timeout. Benson hit a pair of free throws and a bucket followed by a Richie Frahm three-pointer as the Bighorns went on a 7-0 run to take the lead. The Bighorns built a 33-26 first quarter lead while hitting 11-of-15 shots (73.3%) compared to 10-of-21 (47.6%) by the Vipers.

The Bighorns shot 73.5% in the first half, hitting 25-of-34 shots, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc (after hitting 4-of-29 in game one) while the Vipers shot 48.8% (21-43) to keep the game within 70-59.

Down 91-78 with 4:42 to go in the third quarter, the Vipers went on a 6-0 run on the power of a Stanley Asumnu lay-up and four-straight points by Anderson to bring the game within single digits for the first time since midway through the second quarter.