Los Angeles – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers, NBA D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, eliminated Los Angeles D-Fenders from playoffs with a 140-127 win in game 3 of the series.
On assignment from the Washington Wizards, Sheldon McClellan finished the night with 33 points. Darius Morris added another 28 points while Chris Walker collected 12 rebounds. Josh Magette scored 30 points for Los Angeles.
Although the Vipers held a 10-point lead at one point during the opening quarter, the first quarter ended with the Vipers trailing by one point. David Nwaba reached double-digit scoring in the nine minutes that he played in the first quarter to give the D-Fenders a 34-35 lead.
The RGV Vipers found their rhythm in the second quarter. Sheldon put on a show and scored 16 points from a five of six shooting. The Vipers ran away with the lead and finished the first half up 79-61.
Behind Josh Magette’s 12 points, Los Angeles started cutting into the deficit and finished the third quarter down 105-94. With a minute and three seconds left to play in the game, the D-Fenders were able to cut down the Vipers’ lead to just five points. Jarvis Threatt scored on a layup in the next play that was matched by a Josh Magette layup. The D-Fenders kept sending Kyle Wiltjer, Morris, and McClellan to the free-throw line and the Vipers showed no mercy to seal the win.
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers will play next against Oklahoma City Blue in the second round of playoffs.