McNeal's Big Second Half Paces Vipers Victory
HIDALGO, TEXAS - After missing his only shot attempt of the first half, Jerel McNeal hit 6-of-9 shots in the second half while scoring 18 points to lead the defending NBA Development League champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers past the Austin Toros 118-103 on Saturday at State Farm Arena in front of a crowd of 4,859.
The Vipers (30-14) and Toros (19-24) traded the lead 13 times in the first two and a half quarters, but with the Vipers leading 60-57 midway through the third, the Vipers went on a 9-2 run to take a 69-59 lead after a Richard Roby reverse lay-up at the 5:00 mark. Kyle Weaver hit a jumper and Tre Kelley hit a free throw to break the run, but the Vipers scored the next nine points to take a 78-62 lead on a driving lay-up by McNeal, back-to-back baskets by Terrel Harris, including a slam dunk in transition, and a three-point play by McNeal at the 2:09 mark.
McNeal scored 12 points in the third quarter as the Vipers outscored the Toros 37-21 to take an 86-70 lead. They had been tied 49-49 at halftime.
It was McNeal's first game since March 5. He returned from a GATORADE Call-Up to the New Orleans Hornets earlier in the day. He did not see any action with the Hornets.
Jon Scheyer led the Vipers in scoring wit a career-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including a career-best 5-of-9 from behind the arc. Roby and Patrick Sullivan each finished with 20 points.
Weaver led the Toros in scoring with 24 points on 7-of-12 shooting including 4-for-6 from behind the arc. Kevin Palmer finished with 20 points and nine rebounds.
The Vipers welcome three-time NBA All-Star and one-time NBA Champion Antoine Walker and the Idaho Stampede to State Farm Arena on Monday at 7:00 p.m. at State Farm Arena. Fans can purchase hot dogs, popcorn and soda for $1.00 each as well as beer for $1.50 each. Doors open at 6:00.
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