Austin, TX April 17, 2010- adidas player of the game, Curtis Jerrells made the most important pair of free throws he has attempted this season with 6.3 seconds remaining in the game to give the Austin Toros the win against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers Saturday afternoon in game one of the NBA D-League semi-finals at the Austin Convention Center, 122-120.
Live on Versus, the Toros jumped ahead early in the game going on a 10-3 run in the first three minutes. With 1:53 remaining in the first quarter, Will Conroy’s lay-up gave the Vipers their first lead of the game 25-24. Heading in to the second quarter, the Vipers held a small lead, 29-26.
Four minutes in to the second quarter, the Vipers were still looking for a made field goal. During that time the Toros went on a 15-2 run where they were perfect from beyond the arc with three baskets. Their double-digit lead was cut to five at intermission, 62-57. RGV’s Jonathan Wallace had 12 of the 28 points in the quarter. He led the Vipers at the half with 17 while Jerrells led all with 20 points.
Julian Sensley’s long jumper tied the game at 78 with 4:53 left in the third quarter. The teams traded baskets and free throws before the Toros began to pull away, extending their lead to six with 1:52 left. Craig Winder’s persistence at the charity stripe helped RGV close the quarter on a 7-2 run. The Toros still held the lead, 92-91.
The Toros began a 15-2 run to open the fourth quarter, and at one point led by 12. Austin struggled to connect with the goal after Eddie Basden’s dunk with 3:41 remaining in the game. Their nine point lead dwindled down to one with 1:51 left. Marcus Williams missed his first free throw but made the second with :20 remaining, giving the Toros a two-point lead. After a jump ball between Jerrells and Harris, the Vipers called a timeout to regroup. Michael Harris’ 7.3 seconds remaining tied the game and gave the traveling Red Nation hope. Jerrells was fouled as he was pushed out of bounds by Winder. Under pressure at the line, Jerrells was clutch making both baskets. Vipers’ Conroy drove the ball up court but missed his jump shot at the buzzer.
Jerrells finished the game with 30 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Williams added 25 points, eight rebounds and assists. On assignment from the Spurs, Alonzo Gee contributed 24 points, while Squeaky Johnson had a season-high 21 points off the bench.
Conroy led the Vipers with 26 points and eight assists.
The teams will meet again on Monday for game two of the semi-finals of the NBA D-League playoffs in McAllen, Texas. Tip-off is set for 7:30 p.m. CST. If necessary, game three will be played on Wednesday in McAllen.