OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma City Blue (4-9) fell to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (4-12), 99-78, on the second night of a back-to-back.
The teams battled in the first frame, ending with the Blue up by one and neither team leading by more than five points after one quarter. Tied midway through the second, the Vipers produced nine unanswered points to go up 32-23 and would not relinquish the advantage after that. The Vipers held a double-digit distance for the entirety of the second half, going up by as many as 28 in the final frame.
“The first time we played them, I thought we did a good job with staying ahead of the switching, and you can create some movement and some opportunities through that.” Head Coach Grant Gibbs said. “Tonight, we just kind of got stuck and it just wore us down. And we didn’t get the quality shots to put up many points, so I give them credit on that. Then our execution just wasn’t great.”
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell led Oklahoma City from the bench with his 15 points, two rebounds and four steals. Anthony Roberson also poured in 10 points on 4-of-9 shooting, four rebounds and three blocks from the reserve ranks.
On assignment from the Thunder, Deonte Burton posted a double-double of 12 points and a game-best 12 rebounds along with five assists. Fellow assignee Justin Patton finished with six points, six rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Oklahoma City dished out 22 assists to the Vipers’ 17 and outrebounded them 46-41, but gave up 25 points off turnovers due to 19 steals by the visitors.
Ray Spalding led Rio Grande Valley with a double-double of 22 points and 10 boards, shooting 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.