MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Jan. 21, 2017 – The Iowa Energy (5-20) got its third straight win by defeating the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (16-12), 118-108, on Saturday at the 2017 NBA Development League Showcase.
Down 11 points at one point in the fourth quarter, Iowa rallied on both ends of the floor to close out the game by outscoring Rio Grande Valley 37-16 in the final frame. Iowa took advantage of high percentage opportunities offensively, scoring 20 of their 37 points in the paint and hitting 14-of-20 shots (70 percent) as a team in the fourth. The Energy locked down defensively by forcing six Vipers turnovers for 11 points and 5-of-23 from the field (22 percent).
Iowa made two significant runs in the fourth quarter to complete the comeback. Trailing 92-81 to start the period, Iowa went on a 15-5 run to pull within one at 97-96. The two teams then traded blows that included a brief Energy lead before the Vipers’ Darius Morris tied the game back again at 103-103 with 5:05 left. A Cartier Martin layup on the ensuing possession started a second 15-5 run that gave Iowa the lead back for good.
Eight Energy players scored in double figures, led by JaKarr Sampson’s 21 points on 10-of-15 shooting with nine boards and two steals in 28 minutes. Wayne Selden scored 15 of his 18 points in the first half to go along with two steals in 31 minutes. Iowa’s bench scored 46 points and the Energy defense held the Vipers to 10-of-40 from three-point range.
Four Vipers players scored at least 20 points, led by Chris Johnson’s 21 with 13 rebounds in 44 minutes. J.P. Tokoto also posted a double-double with 20 points, 13 boards to go with four steals and two blocks in 46 minutes. A third double-double was had by Gary Payton II, who netted 20 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in 38 minutes. Morris finished with 20 points and six assists in 39 minutes.