Hidalgo, Texas – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (30-18), NBA D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, defeated Salt Lake City Stars (14-33) 122-120 in overtime to clinch a playoff spot.
Vipers’ Isaiah Taylor scored a driving layup with 1.4 seconds left in overtime to lift the Vipers over Salt Lake City 122-120. Taylor finished the game with 22 points in the game. Darius Morris led both teams in scoring with 25 points. Sundiata Gaines and JJ O’Brien both scored 24 points for the Stars.
The first quarter saw both teams exchanging buckets. Gaines reached double-digits scoring putting up ten points which gave the Stars a lead over the Vipers 25-26 after the first quarter.
Salt Lake City held the lead for the majority of the game. O”Brien scored 10 points in the second quarter to extend the Star’s lead to double digits. At one point, Salt Lake City held a 16-point lead.
The Vipers entered the fourth quarter down by 12 points. With 3:04 minutes left in the fourth quarter, Chinanu Onuaku cut the deficit to single-digits after scoring on a putback layup. Jaron Johnson would then put the Vipers closer when he scored a three-pointer with 33 seconds left on the clock. After getting fouled by Henry Sims, Joshua Smith scored both of his free-throws to tie the game 116-116 and sending the Vipers to their first overtime game at home this season.
The game came down to the wire. Vipers’ Isaiah Taylor scored a driving layup with 1.4 seconds left in overtime. Chris Johnson stole the ball on the Star’s last possession to seal the victory.