Not a bad crowd for 27 seconds into a D-League game, eh? The final announced attendance was 14,036. (Photo credit: Matthew Brennan)
I wasn't able to watch the game live as the NBA Development League has decided to make the D-League Finals unavailable to watch on any format as the games are happening, but press releases (and the box score) have confirmed that the Rio Grande Valley Vipers forced a deciding Game 3 against the Iowa Energy on Friday.
The final score was 141-122 in favor of Rio Grande Valley in front of the record Energy crowd, but The Vipers actually trailed 74-70 with just over seven minutes remaining in the third quarter before going on a 22-7 run over the next 2:38 to make sure their season wouldn't end on Wednesday night.
The Vipers, who have their basketball operations run by the Houston Rockets, were led by former New Orleans Hornets call-up Jerel McNeal as the guard scored 37 points to go with eight assists while Richard Roby came off the bench to score 28 points. Other players in double-digits for the Vipers were rookie Mouhammad Faye with 16 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out, Terrel Harris scored 16 points as well to go with eight rebounds and seven assists off the bench, Matt Janning and Patrick Sullivan scored 14 apiece while Jon Scheyer rounded out the double-figure scorers by scoring 11 points in 32 minutes.
For the Energy, D-League MVP Curtis Stinson picked up another triple-double with 24 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds, but he also missed 18 of his 28 attempts from the field and finished with a -17 in the +/- department. Other double-digit scorers for the Energy included Moses Ehambe with 33, Michael Haynes with 24, Shy Ely with 15 off of the bench and Scott VanderMeer with 12 points and five fouls in 29 minutes.
Game 3 will be held on Friday night at 7 p.m. I may just make my way to Iowa to see it for myself.