BOISE, Idaho – The Rio Grande Valley Vipers were outscored 56-42 in the second half en-route to a disappointing 101-84 defeat to the Albuquerque Thunderbirds in the opening game of the NBA Development League Showcase Monday afternoon at Qwest Arena in Boise. The Vipers are now 0-3 in their first game of a D-League Showcase.
The Vipers were playing the second half of a back-to-back after winning in Los Angeles on Sunday, the travel seemed to affect them as they scored just 42 points in the first half. The Vipers also committed 13 first half turnovers but trailed only by three at the half. The Vipers kept it close thanks to Garrett Temple’s 13 first half points.
The Vipers (10-4) never saw the lead for the remainder of the game. Albuquerque (5-9) began the third quarter on 13-4 run capped off by a Yaroslov Korolev three-point play to give the Thunderbirds a 58-46 lead with 8:12 remaining in the third quarter. The T-birds would close out the third stanza on a 7-0 run to lead 77-64 at the end of three quarters. Albuquerque would lead by as many as 19 as they cruised to the win.
Temple led all Viper scorers with 18 points. Will Conroy scored 13 and hauled in six rebounds in his first start in a Viper uniform. Craig Winder and Jonathan Wallace scored 11 and 10 points respectively off the bench in the losing effort for Rio Grande Valley. Houston Rockets assignee Joey Dorsey hauled in a team high 11 rebounds for RGV.
Korolev and Carlos Powell each tallied 20 points to shoulder the scoring load for the Thunderbirds. Korolev also added a team-high seven rebounds. Antoine Agudio, starting for the injured Keith McLeod, scored 15, hauled in 5 boards and dished out five assists while Shane Edwards chipped in 14 points off the bench in the win for Albuquerque. It was the Thunderbirds first win versus Rio Grande Valley since January 9th of 2009.
The Vipers will return to action on Wednesday when they round out their 2010 D-League Showcase appearance with a match-up against the Bakersfield Jam. Tip-off is schedule for 2:45 Central time.