HIDALGO, Texas — The NBA G League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers, affiliate of the Houston Rockets, got their first win in 2018 with a 124-118 performance over the South Bay Lakers.
RGV’s Monte Monte Morris had a double-double with 20 points and 17 assists. Zhou Qi led RGV Vipers in scoring with 23 points. Thomas Bryant led both teams in scoring with 31 points. South Bay’s Scott Machado’s 18 points and 14 assists helped him get a double-double as well.
Monte Morris’ 11 points in the opening quarter played a big part in the Vipers obtaining the lead in the game. Isaiah Hartenstein added another eight points from the bench. Rio Grande Valley finished the first quarter on top 40-36.
The Vipers tightened up defensively in the second quarter and limited the Lakers to only 19 points. Although South Bay managed to bring the game level at one point, Rio Grande Valley finished the first half with a 21-point lead, 76-55.
Both centers had big third quarters. South Bay’s Thomas Bryant’s 12 points in the third helped the Lakers cut away from the home team’s lead. Zhou Qi’s eight points in the third helped keep the Lakers at a distance.
In the final quarter of action, South Bay was able to bring down Rio Grande Valley’s lead to just three points. With 1:43 left in the game, Scott Machado scored two free-throws to make it a 118-115 game. Zhou Qi scored a three-pointer to help RGV secure their first win in 2018.
RGV Vipers shot at a 57 percent. Monte Morris 17 assists were a career high for him. Isaiah Hartenstein had a perfect shooting game, going 9-of-9. The Rio Grande Valley Vipers will play host to Memphis Hustle on Saturday, January 6.