Game Preview: No. 4 Rio Grande Valley Vipers at No. 1 Austin Spurs

By Alex Busch | April 2, 2018

Meet the No. 1 Austin Spurs

NBA Affiliate: San Antonio Spurs
Regular Season Record: 32-18
Key Stat: 6.7 blocks per game (1st in NBA G League)

Meet the No. 4 Rio Grande Valley Vipers

NBA Affiliate: Houston Rockets
Regular Season Record: 29-21
Key Stat: 120.1 points per game (1st in NBA G League)

SEASON SERIES: Austin wins 3-1

Game 1: Austin 111, Rio Grande Valley 104

Top scorers

Jeff Ledbetter (AUS): 26 points, 8-for-9 3PT, 3 steals

Briante Weber (RGV): 19 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assists, 3 steals

Game 2: Austin 111, Rio Grande Valley 95

Top scorers

Jaron Blossomgame (AUS): 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists

Isaiah Hartenstein (RGV): 16 points, 8 rebounds

Game 3: Rio Grande Valley 109, Austin 98

Top scorers

Chinanu Onuaku (RGV): 15 points, 13 rebounds, 5 assists

Jaron Blossomgame (AUS): 20 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists

Game 4: Austin 123, Rio Grande Valley 112

Top scorers

Derrick White (AUS): 38 points, 5 rebounds, 8 assists, 2 steals, 2 blocks

Monte Morris (RGV): 23 points, 8 rebounds, 10 assists, 3 steals


How They Got Here

Austin Spurs: The Western Conference’s top seed stayed afloat to begin the season before making a run in January, when they won 16 of 20 games and started to take control of the conference’s top spot. The Spurs, who have laid a foundation of success on stifling defense, lead the entire NBA G League in blocked shots, with 6.7 per game in 2017-18.

Led by two-way player Darrun Hilliard (20.7 points per game), the Spurs have also seen the dynamic play coming from Clemson product Jaron Blossomgame, who has put up 16.5 points and 8.1 rebounds per game in 50 appearances this season.

Rio Grande Valley Vipers:  Last year’s NBA G League runners-up, the Vipers mimicked their parent club, Houston Rockets, with exceptional offensive production all season long. Finishing 29-21, a couple games behind the Austin Spurs in the Southwest Division in the Western Conference, the Vipers were one of three teams in the entire NBA G League to amass 15 road wins.

The Vipers led the NBA G League in scoring (120.1 points per game) and assists per game (26.2), and found themselves ranked in the top five in rebounds per game and steals per game as well. While their prolific offense was the gold standard in many categories around the league, they gave up 117.5 points per game to their opponents, ranking them 25th.


Players To Watch

Austin Spurs

Darrun Hilliard

Jaron Blossomgame

Jeff Ledbetter

Rio Grande Valley Vipers

RJ Hunter

Monte Morris

Chinanu Onuaku

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