HIDALGO, Texas — The NBA G League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers, proud affiliate of the Houston Rockets, were able to obtain back-to-back wins after defeating the Austin Spurs 109-98.
Markel Brown was the Vipers leading scorer with 16 points. Big men Zhou Qi and Chinanu Onuaku collected double-doubles on the night. Qi finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds while Onuaku had 15 points and 13 rebounds. Spurs’ Jeff Ledbetter scored a game-high 23 points.
The Vipers’ big man Zhou Qi, on assignment from the Houston Rockets, was off to a good start in the opening quarter of the game. Qi led Rio Grande Valley in scoring with seven points, going three-of-four. Austin’s Jeff Ledbetter gave the Spurs production off the bench. Ledbetter scored a quarter-high 10 points in the first quarter.
The Vipers entered the second quarter with a 31-28 lead over the Austin Spurs. The Vipers were able to extend their lead to nine points in the second quarter. Austin’s Olivier Hanlan’s eight points in the second quarter helped the Spurs close the gap between the two teams. Rio Grande Valley was able to hold on the minimal lead as both teams headed for the locker rooms at halftime with the Vipers on top 55-54.
Austin stole the lead in the first possession of the third quarter. With 4:51 left in the third quarter, the Vipers regained the lead and were able to extend it to 15 points at one point, the first double-digit lead in the game. Rio Grande entered the fourth quarter with a 13-point lead, 84-71.
Austin cut the deficit to four points halfway through the fourth quarter. Markel Brown doubled his points in the fourth quarter, bringing his total to 16 points in the game. The Vipers dominated the board, finishing the game with 22 more rebounds than the Austin Spurs.
The RGV Vipers will play Oklahoma City Blue on Tuesday, February 13. After the All-Star break, the Vipers take on Iowa Wolves on the road on Friday, February 23.