HIDALGO – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (7-11) fell 134-126 to the Austin Spurs (12-5) on Saturday at State Farm Arena in Hidalgo.
Houston Rockets assignee Clint Capela led RGV with a double-double 31 points and 10 rebounds. Also on assignment from Houston, Nick Johnson scored 23 points. Jaron Johnson added 16 points, followed by Akil Mitchell with 15 points. Tony Bishop scored 11 points, and Jarvis Threatt tallied 10 points.
Bryce Cotton led Austin with 32 points, followed by San Antonio Spurs assignee Jeffery Taylor with 23 points. Orlando Johnson contributed 20 points. Josh Davis scored a double-double 13 points and 10 rebounds. Adreian Payne, who is on assignment from San Antonio, also scored 13 points. Jarell Eddie added 12 points and Jonathan Simmons scored 11 points.
Jaron Johnson started the game with a shot from beyond the arc to put the Vipers on the board 3-0. Payne and Taylor responded with consecutive baskets for Austin to give the Spurs a 4-3 lead. At the3:54 mark, Bishop made a layup to extend the Vipers’ lead to 30-22. Cotton responded with a jump shot that sent the Spurs on a 14-0 run to take a 36-30 lead. Austin led 39-35 at the end of the quarter.
The Spurs held the lead throughout the second quarter. Capela made a lay-up with 2:50 remaining in the first half to close the Vipers’ deficit to 60-58, but Cotton responded with a jump shot to put Austin ahead 62-58. Nick Johnson made a jump shot to close RGV’s gap to 63-62 with 1:28 on the clock. At the half, the Spurs led 67-64.
Three minutes into the third quarter, Chris Johnson made a three-point shot to give RGV a 71-69 lead. The lead changed six times throughout the third quarter. Near the end of the quarter, Austin went on a 10-0 run that carried into the fourth quarter. The Spurs held the lead throughout the fourth quarter. With 23 seconds remaining , Capela made a layup to put RGV within four points, 130-126. However, Simmons converted a dunk and Cotton sank two shots at the line to secure the 134-126 Spurs’ win.