EDINBURG, Texas – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (31-15) defeated the Stockton Kings (27-17) at home on Friday night, 117-112. Guard Jordan Johnson earned a double-double tonight with 14 points and 10 assists, adding three steals.
Rio Grande played with rhythm throughout the first quarter, managing a 32-28 lead. Gary Payton ll was the offensive leader at this point for the Vipers with his 8 points, 5 assists. On the visitor side, Daniel Ochefu totaled 8 points as well to help pad the deficit.
At the midway point, the Vipers continued their dominance, leading 59-53 heading into the locker room. Payton ll added to his totals; 13 points, five rebounds and five assists. Houston Rockets assignee, Isaiah Hartenstein, was held to four rebounds in the half. Rockets two-way player Vincent Edwards racked up 11 points.
Ochefu ended the half with nine points, five rebounds while teammate Reggie Hearn locked in 11 points to aid the Kings in the first half. Matt Jones added on 10 points, five assists of his own as the visitors inched toward the Vipers.
Sacramento Kings two-way player Wenyen Gabriel tallied 12 points, five rebounds over three quarters of action. As the third quarter closed out, the Vipers successfully kept their lead, this time 88-81. Rio Grande benefitted from 39 points off the bench. Diamond Stone made his mark on the court with his 13 points, three rebounds so far. Two-way player Danuel House Jr. made some noise as he tallied 11 points, four rebounds, three assists.
In the fourth quarter, the Kings dominated with a 29-31 lead but wasn’t enough to get the win on the road. Seven Vipers had double digits tonight, four from the starting five. House Jr. finished with 20 points, four rebound and three assists. Payton II totaled 17 points, six rebounds, six assists, and three steals. Chris Walker tallied 12 rebounds adding five points and two blocks. Edwards finished the night with 14 points, eight rebounds and shot 3-5 from the arc.
For Stockton, Matt Jones led the game with 22 points and added five assists. Hearn totaled 17 points, six rebounds and shot five 3-pointers. Marcus Williams tallied 11 assists and added four points, five rebounds and two steals.