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NBA D-League Playoffs 2016: Austin Spurs Defeat Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 2-1

By James Jackson | April 9, 2016

SERIES SCHEDULE

Game 1: Vipers 136, Spurs 133 (OT) | Tuesday 4/5 | Box Score
Game 2: Spurs 116, Vipers 91 | Thursday 4/7 | Box Score
Game 3: Spurs 89, Vipers 88 | Saturday 4/9 | Box Score

GAME 3: SPURS 89, VIPERS 88

Player of the Game: Keifer Sykes, G, Spurs — 31 points, 13/19 FG, 6 steals

Play of the Game: 5-10 Keifer Sykes steals and slams for the tie in the final minute

GAME 2: SPURS 116, VIPERS 91

Player of the Game: Deshaun Thomas, F, Spurs — 23 points, 9/17 FG, 9 assists, 6 rebounds

Play of the Game: 5-10 Keifer Sykes throws down on the break

GAME 1: VIPERS 136, SPURS 133 (OT)

Player of the Game: Will Cummings, G, Vipers — 32 points, 10/15 FG, 11/14 FT, 4 steals

Play of the Game:

SERIES PREVIEW

Austin enters the NBA D-League Playoffs fresh off a convincing victory over the Texas Legends, winning 104-84 in their season finale. Now the Spurs face a three-game slate versus the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, who Austin edged out for the Southwest Division crown by one game.

The Vipers won the regular-season series 5-1, with the Spurs earning their lone victory by score of 106-94.

Despite the head-to-head struggles, Austin is riding a four-game winning streak, besting opponents by an average of 15.3 points in the process.

The rebounding battle could decide the series, though, as the Vipers and Spurs rank second and third, respectively. Enter Hawks assignee Walter Tavares, who recently posted a 14-rebound, 10-block double vs. Santa Cruz on March 27th. By commanding the paint, Tavares could prove to be an X-factor for the series, as Rio Grande Valley has allowed 48.3 rebounds in their past four games, including 58 vs. Oklahoma City on March 29th.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Walter Tavares, C, Spurs

Deshaun Thomas, F, Spurs

Cady Lalanne, F, Spurs

Will Cummings, G, Vipers

Joshua Smith, F/C, Vipers

Jaron Johnson, G/F, Vipers

 

MEET THE SPURS

NBA Affiliate: San Antonio Spurs

Regular Season Record: 30-20

Key Stat(s): In their 30 victories, the Spurs’ defensive rating finished 99.5, balanced by an offensive rating of 110.5.

MEET THE VIPERS

NBA Affiliate: Houston Rockets

Regular Season Record: 29-21

Key Stat(s): The Vipers finished second in the league 116.3 points scored per game.

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