Vipers Strike Again, Sweep By Skyforce
The two NBA Development League contests between the Sioux Falls Skyforce and Rio Grande Valley Vipers on consecutive nights started the same way each time. Visiting team gets off to a big start while the home team plays catch-up. Both games ended with Viper wins with the Saturday night score 102-98.
Final score shows a little tighter battle, but a couple of subtle differences came to light as the contest ensued. One, Tim Ohlbrecht was not the dominator of the night before, though he was plenty good. Second, the Skyforce (10-10) bench thoroughly outplayed the Skyforce starters and nearly capped the comeback. At one point the score was 24-6 in favor of Rio Grande Valley (10-8) in the first quarter. Sioux Falls eventually tied the score at 50 all late in the second quarter. The third wrinkle in game comparison was the Vipers using only an 8 man rotation on the night and really only using 7 players to great extent.
The Skyforce never led in this one although with the score 92-90 former Viper Damian Saunders missed a 3 that could have changed that with four and a half minutes left. There was still daylight with under ten seconds left, but a Demetris Nichols try to tie from down town spun around the cylinder and the Skyforce have lost six of the ten home games so far this season.
The two NBA players on assignment from the Houston Rockets were up to the task as Terrence Jones led the Vipers with 23 points and 8 rebounds, while Patrick Beverley got 16 points 7 rebounds and 7 assists. The aforementioned Ohlbrecht finished with 13 points and 8 boards. No Sioux Falls starter scored in double digits as Mychel Thompson got a season high 25 tallies with 8 rebounds and 7 assists, Saunders scored 19 with 8 caroms, Gabe Pruitt added 18 points and 7 foot 5 Will Foster delivered 8 points 11 rebounds and 6 blocks. A quick turnaround now awaits the Skyforce as the Santa Cruz Warriors come to play Tuesday night. RGV will return home on Thursday for a date with the Reno Bighorns.