HIDALGO, Texas --The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (30-20, 3-2) topped the Santa Cruz Warriors (29-21, 3-1) 136-113 Saturday night at State Farm Arena. The NBA Development League Playoffs Semi-Finals series is now tied at 1-1. Prior to tipoff, Houston Rockets assignee Robert Covington was presented with the NBA D-League Rookie of the Year trophy.
Houston Rockets assignee Isaiah Canaan led the Vipers with a season-high 43 points and was 8-for-17 from three-point range. Darius Morris scored a double-double 22 points and 10 assists. Covington added a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds. Jamelle Hagins scored a double-double 16 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Tony Bishop, Jr. with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
Mychel Thompson led the Warriors with 22 points, followed by Daniel Nwaelele with 20 points. Cameron Jones added 15 points, and Kevin Kotzur notched a double-double 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Kotzur made the first basket of the game and Seth Curry followed with a jump shot to put Santa Cruz up 4-0. Hunt responded with a layup to put the Vipers on the board 4-2. The Warriors held on to the lead until midway through the first quarter when a basket and a free throw from Covington gave RGV its first lead 16-14. At the end of the first quarter, the score was tied at 28 points.
Thompson made a layup to start the second and put Santa Cruz back on top 30-28. The Warriors held the lead until Canaan made a three-pointer with 4:03 on the clock to put RGV ahead 50-49. At the half, the Vipers held a 63-59 lead.
RGV held the lead throughout the second half of the game. A three-point shot from Gary Talton gave the Vipers their largest lead 123-92 with 6:43 on the clock in the fourth quarter.
NBA D-League Media Services contributed to this report.