RGV's Mike Harris showed why he was the D-League MVP last night against the Austin Toros.
Rio Grande Valley Vipers 137, Austin Toros 110 (Box Score)
The Rio Grande Valley Vipers forced a game three in their D-League semifinal series, demolishing the Austin Toros tonight at home. The Vipers jumped out to a 31-13 lead and outscored the Toros 37-22 in the fourth quarter to close out the game in convincing fashion. The Toros couldn't get over their cold start and couldn't control the boards, as they were out-rebounded 50-37. Now, on to the Monstars (which I'm using this time because it's appropriate (Scott's Note: And awesome)) and non-stars of the game.
- Mike Harris, unfettered by foul trouble, was huge for RGV. Harris had 16 points in the first quarter and finished with 41 on 15-19 shooting, to go with 12 rebounds. Harris was getting it done outside (4-4 on three-pointers) and inside, and Austin didn't have anyone who really could guard him effectively.
- Other than a couple of dunks I didn't notice Antonio Anderson much, but he finished with close to a triple-double, 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. On a night when Austin's rebounding wasn't quite as sharp as it usually is, it was Anderson's work there that probably helped his team the most.
- Ernest Scott was huge off the bench for the Vipers, hitting five of six three-pointers on the way to 17 points in a little under 14 minutes. Scott has struggled with foul trouble at times during the playoffs, but his work tonight helped bury the Toros.
Scott's Bonus Fourth Star: Will Conroy had 15 points, 15 assists, five rebounds and just one turnover. He shot just 6-of-16 from the field, but still. 15 assists compared to one turnover is not bad.
- Michael Joiner had a pretty bad game all around. He started at center as he has since Dwayne Jones left, but he was charged with guarding Harris at certain points of the game and just couldn't. He also seemingly couldn't hit anything, shooting 2-7 (he started out 1-5). He had a quick trigger early on in the game, but his bricks certainly weren't helping.
- Marcus Williams couldn't buy a shot, either, going 1-4 from outside and 3-13 overall. Williams played decent defense against Will Conroy, but he seemed to settle for jumpers for long stretches of the game rather than attacking the rim; Williams shot just two free throws. He wasn't even taking bad shots, usually, he just wasn't hitting anything.
- I'm not really sure who else to put here, as the rest of the Toros kind of generally didn't play all that well (except for Lewis Clinch and, for a quarter, Squeaky Johnson). Curtis Jerrells scored 25 but shot 0-4 from outside and had five turnovers. Eddie Basden and Alonzo Gee combined for 27 points, and Gee had four blocks, but neither one could guard Harris. Cory Underwood fouled out in less than 12 minutes, although he's still relatively new to the team so some slack should be cut there. And so on.