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NBA G League Playoffs: Conference Finals

By NBA G League Staff | April 9, 2022

The 2022 NBA G League Playoffs presented by Google Pixel continue on April 9 with the Conference Finals. Only four teams remain, as the No. 1 Rio Grande Valley Vipers square off with the No. 2 Agua Caliente Clippers on one side of the bracket, while the No. 1 Raptors 905 take on the No. 3 Delaware Blue Coats on the other side of the bracket. The Western Conference Finals will take place on Saturday on ESPNews, and the Eastern Conference Finals will occur on Sunday on ESPNU.  The winners of both games advance to the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV, starting on April 12.

SATURDAY, APRIL 9

No. 1 Rio Grande Valley Vipers 125, No. 2 Agua Caliente Clippers 114

The Rio Grande Valley Vipers secured the title of the Western Conference Champions by defeating the Agua Caliente Clippers 125-114 on Saturday night. The win moves them on to the NBA G League Finals presented by YouTube TV. The Vipers stormed out to yet another early lead in the first quarter, jumping on the Clippers to take a 17-9 lead four minutes into the game. The lead ballooned out to as much as 18 in the second quarter. Mfiondu Kabengele was instrumental to the early success, posting 10 points on 4-4 shooting – including two triples – in the opening six minutes while finishing with a game-high 27 points to go with 10 rebounds and 3 blocks against his former team. With MVP Trevelin Queen (12 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST) struggling to find his shot in the first half, RGV got big contributions from Houston Rockets assignee Daishen Nix (22 PTS, 7 AST, 6 REB) and Anthony Lamb (23 PTS, 7 REB, 6 AST).

Agua Caliente chipped away at the lead in the second half, with guard Nate Darling (29 PTS, 5 REB) leading the way. Jordan Ford added 24 points and 5 assists, while LA Clippers assignee Brandon Boston Jr. scored 21 points off the bench to keep Agua Caliente competitive. The Vipers looked to be pulling away throughout the second half, but Agua Caliente managed to respond with a big run each time to stay in it. A Ford layup with 1:59 remaining cut the lead to four, Marcus Foster (16 PTS, 7 AST) hit a clutch 3-pointer on the next possession and finished off a layup the next time down the court to put the game away.

SUNDAY, APRIL 10

No. 3 Delaware Blue Coats 143, No. 1 Raptors 905 139

In a rematch of last season’s semifinals matchup, the end result remained the same. The Delaware Blue Coats advanced to their second consecutive NBA G League Finals, defeating the top-seeded Raptors 905 in the Eastern Conference Finals. Myles Powell put on a shooting display for the Blue Coats, posting 34 points on an efficient 11-17 shooting in just 25 minutes of play. Charlie Brown Jr. was once again fantastic for Delaware, scoring 28 points for the second straight game and adding 8 rebounds and 5 assists. Defensive Player of the Year Shaquille Harrison (17 PTS, 13 AST, 9 REB, 3 STL) and center Aaron Henry (23 PTS, 9 AST, 8 REB) both flirted with triple-doubles for the Blue Coats, who were without rookie star Jaden Springer after he was ruled out shortly before the game started. In his absence, Delaware got double-digit scoring from six different players and hit 18 three-pointers on the night.

Raptors 905 put up quite the fight, but couldn’t pull off a second consecutive comeback victory. Toronto Raptors assignees Dalano Banton and Justin Champagnie were phenomenal for the 905, combining to score 70 points. Banton just missed a triple-double of his own, finishing with 34 points, 11 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocks. Champagnie added a game-high 36 points to go with 10 rebounds. After trailing by 10  with 3:26 to play, Raptors 905 cut the Delaware lead down to 4 in less than a minute, but committed several key turnovers down the stretch that allowed the Blue Coats to hold on for the win.

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