"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">TULSA, Okla.
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">– The defending NBA Development
League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers moved into first place in
the Western Conference standings and lowered their magic number to
clinch home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs to
one with a 100-94 victory over the Tulsa 66ers on Saturday at the
Tulsa Convention Center.
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers (31-16) are tied with
the Reno Bighorns (31-16), who beat the Sioux Falls Skyforce 97-82,
atop the Western Conference standings.
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers scored the first nine
points of the second quarter, going on an 11-1 run to take a 40-30
lead after Mouhammad Faye hit his third basket of
the run. Faye hit two three-pointers a jumper in the opening
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">Faye scored 20 points on 8-of-15
shooting (4-for-8 from behind the arc). Jerel
McNeal led the Vipers in scoring with 22 points, hitting
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers jumped out to a 66-52
lead at the 9:16 mark of the third quarter when Houston
Rockets-assignee Hasheem Thabeet hit a lay-up, but
the 66ers (31-17) went on a 12-0 run to pull within 66-64. The
Vipers were held scoreless for 6:04, when Jon
Scheyer hit a three-pointer. That sparked a 12-4 run for
the Vipers to close the quarter, punctuated by a two-handed slam by
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">Thabeet finished with his first
double-double, scoring 14 points with 12 rebounds (seven
offensive), three blocks and four steals.
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The 66ers hit their first 23 free
throws in a row and Elijah Milsap hit his first
nine, before missing two-straight at the front end of three free
throws with 5:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. The 66ers
finished 28-for-30, Milsap was 10-for-12 while scoring 14 points.
Oklahoma City Thunder-assignee Byron Mullens
scored a team-high 18 points with a team-high eight
"font-family: TimesNewRomanPSMT;">The Vipers play their final
regular season road game on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. when they face the
Texas Legends at Dr Pepper Arena in Frisco.