SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake City Stars, the official NBA G League affiliate of the Utah Jazz, fell 103-102 to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers tonight in the first game of a home back-to-back set.
The Stars (16-18) were led by Utah Jazz two-way player Tyler Cavanaugh, who tallied a team-high 21 points to go along with eight boards and a game-high three steals. Utah Jazz two-way player Naz Mitrou-Long finished with 14 points and a team-high seven assists, while Tanner McGrew led all Stars reserves with 19 points. Justin Reyes scored 11 points and grabbed a team-high-tying nine rebounds, and Stephaun Branch also collected nine rebounds to go with a season-high 19 points.
The Vipers (24-12) were led by Houston Rockets assignment player Isaiah Hartenstein, who notched the first triple-double of his NBA G League career with 12 points, a game-high 16 rebounds and an NBA G League career-high 11 assists. Jacobi Boykins scored a game-high 24 points to go with seven boards off the bench, while Houston Rockets two-way player Vincent Edwards scored 15 points and corralled nine rebounds. University of Utah product Dakarai Tucker tallied 20 points and Gary Payton II, who played two seasons at Salt Lake Community College, scored eight points.
The Stars held the Vipers to 15 points in the first quarter, a Stars opponent low for the first period this season, and led by 12 at the end of the first frame (27-15). Salt Lake City retained its advantage through the fourth quarter, leading by 17 points (98-81) following a Cavanaugh layup with 4:03 remaining in the contest. The Vipers responded with an 18-0 run to take a one-point lead (99-98) with 29.9 seconds remaining. The game was tied at 99-all with 17.8 seconds left, and Boykins connected on the go-ahead step-back three-pointer to seal the victory.