The Chase for Three Continues: Vipers Force a Winner Take All in the 2019 NBA G League Finals
EDINBURG, Texas - The Rio Grande Valley Vipers (1-1) hosted the Long Island Nets (1-1) for Game 2 of the 2019 NBA G League Finals. Rio Grande locked in a home win behind Hartenstein's 33-point performance.
Nothing short of intensity is expected in a Game 2 of the NBA G League Finals and that is exactly what was played out on the court as both teams were deadlocked at 27-27 after one quarter of play. Both ends pressured on defense and had a resilient push on offense. The Vipers benefitted from 10 points off the bench, eight of those coming from guard Jordan Johnson. Brooklyn Nets two-way player, Theo Pinson locked in seven points in the quarter.
The second quarter went the Viper's way as they outscored the Nets, 37-29, to take a convincing 64-56 lead into the half. Houston Rockets assignee Isaiah Hartenstein was on fire from beyond the arc, hitting five 3's on his way to 18 points, six rebounds at the half. Three Rio Grande players tallied 12 points in the first half, Dakarai Tucker, Johnson, and Gary Payton ll.
Pinson tallied 12 points before heading to the break for Long Island. The other two-way for Long Island, Alan Williams closely trailed Pinson with 11 points of his own. Long Island shot 46.7 percent from the field in the half.
After three, more of the same continued for Hartenstein as he grew his points total to 27 and locked in the double-double with his 12 rebounds so far. Tucker was generous on offense as he dished out four assists for the Vipers and totaled 15 points.
Bert Ogden Arena has always been a nightmare to play in for visiting teams and the same continued tonight as an electric crowd cheered the Vipers on to their final home victory of the 2018-19 season and saw them force a Game 3 in the NBA G League Finals.
The Vipers outlasted the Nets 127-116 on a 47 percent shooting night from beyond the arc, eight of those coming from the hot hand of Hartenstein as he closed out with 33 points, 13 rebounds, two assists and two blocks. The other big man on offense for the Vipers was Tucker as he tallied 23 points, five assists. Johnson had himself another good night as he totaled 18 points, and nine assists to lead the whole squad in that category. Houston Rockets assignee, Michael Frazier II contributed 19 points while Payton ll did his part as well with 18 points of his own.
Long Island was led all night by Pinson in scoring with his 32 points and 11 rebounds. Nets assignee, Dzanan Musa ended his night with 13 points, six rebounds. Thomas Wimbush was the second leading scorer for the Nets, dropping 21 points on the Vipers.
Next up for the Vipers is a visit to Long Island for Game 3 of the NBA G League Finals as they continue their chase for the third title in franchise history. The game is set for Friday, April 12 at 6:00 p.m. CST. For more information, contact the RGV Vipers at 956-56-ARENA or visit www.rgvipers.com.
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