EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Vander Blue scored 39 points — his 12th straight 20-point outing — as the Los Angeles D-Fenders beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers 126-112 Saturday night.
Justin Harper reached the 20-point plateau with 22 points for the D-Fenders (17-14) , while Ryan Gomes (18 points, 7 rebounds), Robert Upshaw (16 points, 5 rebounds) and Andre Ingram (14 points) all scored in double figures for Los Angeles.
Jaron Johnson scored a team-high 30 points for the Vipers (15-15). K.J. McDaniels (21 points) and Chris Walker (21 points, 16 rebounds) reached the 20-point mark, while Will Cummings (14 points) also scored in double-digits for Rio Grande Valley.
The first quarter was all Los Angeles, as the D-Fenders led 37-24 at the end of the first, behind 17 points from Blue. Rio Grande found their rhythm in the second quarter, outscoring the D-Fenders 36-28 behind 11 points from Johnson, while Gomes had nine for Los Angeles. At the half, the D-Fenders led 65-60 behind 22 points from Blue.
Harper scored 10 points in the third quarter for the D-Fenders, who outscored the Vipers 31-26 in the period. Blue put the game away in the fourth quarter for Los Angeles, scoring 12 points and connecting on 7-of-8 free throws, to give Los Angeles the 126-112 wire-to-wire victory.
The D-Fenders shot .484 from the field, compared to .432 for the Vipers. Los Angeles connected on 15-of-35 three-point attempts, while Rio Grande Valley finished 7-of-33. Los Angeles forced 22 turnovers, finishing with 11 steals as a team.