RENO, NV---Marcus Morris finished his assignment early, though there was no extra credit to be had.
Not quite two minutes into the first quarter of Rio Grande Valley’s matchup with Springfield, Morris, on assignment from the Houston Rockets, came down awkwardly after shooting a jumper. He limped off the floor with what appeared to be a sprained ankle.
Tough break for a player Houston selected with the 14th overall pick of the 2011 NBA Draft, and was hoping would get valuable playing experience at the 2012 NBA D-League Showcase.
Springfield (9-9) took advantage, building an 11-point lead at the half, before falling behind late in the fourth quarter and needing a Preston Knowles three-pointer with 5.6 seconds left to post a 100-99 win at the 2012 NBA D-League Showcase.
Rio Grande Valley (11-9) had seemingly sewn up victory after Ben Uzoh hit two free throws to give the Vipers a 99-96 lead with 15.9 seconds left in the game. Rio Grande Valley then committed a foul before Springfield had inbounded the ball, which resulted in a free throw for JamesOn Curry to cut the lead to 99-97, setting the stage for Knowles’ three-pointer.
Knowles finished with 14 points, shooting 4-for-6 from behind the arc. All five starters scored in double figures for Springfield, led by Damian Johnson’s18 points. Jeff Foote had a solid game in the middle, finishing with 16 points and seven rebounds.
Willie Warren, a 2010 second-round pick of the Los Angeles Clippers, went 15-for-16 from the free throw line and finished with a team high 17 points for the Vipers. Ben Uzoh, who spent his rookie season with the New Jersey Nets last year, added 16 points for Rio Grande Valley.