FRISCO, TX (Jan. 20, 2018) –The Texas Legends (17-11) grabbed a nail-biter over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (18-12) 144-141 to take over first place in the Western Conference.
Brandon Ashley got a hot start to the night posting 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting (2-of-2 outside) in the first quarter. The Vipers stayed close, exchanging leads 7 times in the first 15 minutes before Texas grabbed the lead they would hold through the final minutes.
The Legends took the largest lead of the night (+15) midway through the fourth but RGV responded with a 10-0 run and stayed within 6 for the last half of the quarter. With 34 seconds to play, the Vipers pulled within one, but Donald Sloan answered with a three ball to give Texas the edge they would need to hold onto the victory.
After a season-high performance Friday night, Sloan one-upped himself Saturday to grab 35 points and dish out a team season-high 12 assists. All five Legends starters finished in double-digits with Jameel Warney adding 33 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, and 2 steals. Ashley tallied 27 points, 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and a game-high 3 blocks while JJ Avila came off the bench to grab a game-high 10 boards to go with 6 points, 4 assists.
The Legends followed up a season-high performance Friday night with a close second Saturday, shooting 55.2% (season-high is 56.5%) and tallying 144 points (season-high is 146).
Julien Lewis led the Vipers with 32 points while Markel Brown added 29 and a team-high 10 assists. Shane Richards finished with 28 points, 3 steals and Chris Walker added 20 points, 8 rebounds off the bench.