HIDALGO, Texas — The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, NBA D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, could not pull off the win at home and lost 112-108 to the Oklahoma City Blue in the first game of the Western Conference Finals.
Kyle Wiltjer scored 27 points in the game. Three Rio Grande Valley players collected double-doubles. Chris Johnson had 12 rebounds and 20 points. Isaiah Taylor finished the night with 12 assists and 13 points while Darius Morris had 10 assists and 24 points. Dakari Johnson led the Blue in scoring with 27 points.
Rio Grande Valley started the game with a three-point streak. Three-pointers from Kyle Wiltjer and Darius Morris gave the Vipers an initial nine-point lead over Oklahoma City. Reggie Williams’ 12 points were enough to lead the Blue back into the game and finish the opening quarter with a 29-35 lead.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers tried to close the gap between both teams, but Dakari Johnson’s 10 points in the second quarter helped extend Oklahoma City’s lead to nine points as the first half came to an end.
Isaiah Taylor, who had been held scoreless in the first two quarters, lit up in the third and scored 11 points. The Vipers defense contained Oklahoma City to just 20 points in the third quarter and sent both teams tied to the final quarter with a 80-80 score.
Kyle Wiltjer’s fade-away shot put the Vipers ahead 96-95 with 4:09 left in the game. After Dakari Johnson’s layup with 3:45 left, the Vipers were not able to steal the lead back and dropped the first game 108-112.
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers will play game two of the best of three series on Sunday, April 16 at Oklahoma City. The game will tip off at 6:30p.m.