NBA G League Ignite (7-6) and the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (7-6) go head-to-head Thursday for a spot in the playoffs, tipping off at 3 p.m. ET from AdventHealth Arena and live on ESPNU.
Ignite clinches a spot in the playoffs with a win over the Vipers and a loss by the Westchester Knicks, who face Agua Caliente at 7:30 p.m. ET. With a win, Ignite would also knock RGV out off playoff contention.
After suffering a two-game skid with losses to the Delaware Blue Coats and Agua Caliente Clippers, Ignite looks to get back on track behind Jalen Green’s 17.6 points per game. Through 13 games, Green’s playmaking ability continues to develop as he’s also averaging 2.8 assists and 1.62 steals alongside 4.2 rebounds. Jonathan Kuminga (15.8 ppg, 7.2 rpg) and Isaiah Todd (11.1 ppg, 4.2 rpg) have also bolstered Ignite’s efforts.
The Vipers enter the matchup on a four-game win streak, boosted by the G League’s top scorer, Kevin Porter, who is averaging 24.0 points and 6.9 assists. KJ Martin is also among the league’s top 10 at 19.4 ppg, and third in rebounding with 12.4 rpg.
LAST TIME OUT
Brandon Ashley poured in a season-high 26 points and Ignite’s rookies shook off a slow start, but the effort fell just short against Agua Caliente and the Clippers took a 116-111 victory Wednesday.
Jalen Green scored 20 points and added six rebounds, five assists and two steals, and Isaiah Todd sparked the team in the second half and finished with 14 points, six rebounds and three steals.
BY THE NUMBERS
Ignite’s rookies contributed to only 13 of the team’s 45 first-half points, with seven points from Jalen Green, four from Isaiah Todd and two from Daishen Nix. In the third quarter alone, the rookie quarter combined for 20 of Ignite’s 30 points, with Todd providing an 8-point spark for the team.
Brandon Ashley scored in double figures five times through 12 games prior to reaching an Ignite season-high 26 points in Wednesday’s contest with the Clippers. Ashley is now averaging 20.0 points in his last two appearances, and his 12 field goal makes against ACC matched a career high.
Jalen Green had only seven points at halftime against Agua Caliente, but emerged to score 13 points in the second half to finish with 20. He scored 8 points in the fourth quarter, going 2-4 from beyond the arc, for his seventh 20-point game of the year.