CEDAR PARK, Texas — Keifer Sykes posted a season and team-high 31 points as the Austin Spurs defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 89-88 Saturday afternoon at Cedar Park Center to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
Houston Rockets assignee Montrezl Harrell paced RGV with 26 points and teammate Will Cummings posted 13 points.
RGV (1-2) came out strong in the first quarter, going on a 20-5 run in the first six minutes of the game. They shot 52 percent in the quarter (13-of-15), while Austin (2-1) shot 30 percent (6-of-20). RGV led Austin at the end of the first 35-13.
Austin outscored RGV 28-21 in the second quarter to close the gap. They went on a 9-2 run with with three minutes remaining to come within 11, 52-41. Harrell led RGV with 22 points in the half. RGV grabbed 28 rebounds in the half, compared to Austin’s 18 rebounds. RGV led Austin at halftime 56-41.
RGV maintained their lead in the third quarter. Austin would start to make a comeback in the fourth, narrowing RGV’s lead to four (86-82) with three minutes left.
Cummings committed a foul on Sykes with 0.4 seconds remaining in the fourth, and Sykes drained one-of-two free-throws to secure the win for Austin, 89-88.