The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (29-21) topped the Los Angeles D-Fenders (27-23) 128-121 tonight at State Farm Arena. The Vipers move on to face the Austin Spurs in the first round of the NBA Development League Playoffs next week.
Jarvis Threatt led the Vipers with a career-high 33 points. Will Cummings added 26 points, followed by Jaron Johnson with 19 points. Darius Morris contributed 16 points and Joshua Smith recorded 10 points.
The Vipers shot 50.6 percent from the field to finish the regular-season 14-0 when shooting above .500. RGV also recorded a season-high 22 three-point field goals made.
Six D-Fenders reached double-figures in scoring. Andre Ingram led with 27 points. Michael Holyfield scored 19 points and 15 rebounds. Kenneth Smith also added 19 points. Josh Magette tallied 16 points and 13 assists. Justin Harper added 15 points. D.J. Shumpert recorded 10 points and 17 rebounds.
The Vipers took an early control of the game. With 3:14 on the clock Walker made a dunk to give RGV its largest lead of the first quarter, 37-55. Threatt scored 20 of his 33 total points in the first quarter to lead RGV to a 44-24 advantage at the end of the first period.
RGV led by 28 points twice in the second quarter. At the half, the Vipers were on top 79-55. RGV’s 79 first-half points is a season-high for points scored in a quarter by this season’s squad. The Vipers also scored 14 of their 22 total three-point field goals in the first half.
The D-Fenders opened the third quarter on an 11-4 run. Cummings halted Los Angeles with a shot from beyond the arc to give the Vipers an 85-68 lead. At the end of the third quarter, the RGV lead 108-93.
Los Angeles fought back to outscore RGV 28-20 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to catch up to the Vipers.