The Texas Legends (7-4) shot 55% on the night to hand the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (8-3) their first loss on their home court 129-122.
The Vipers grabbed the lead briefly early in the first behind a long ball from Anthony Lamb. Texas responded with a 16-2 run and held on through the final buzzer. The Legends hit their largest lead of the half (+15) with five minutes remaining, but the home team found short streaks to cut the deficit to single digits heading into the locker room (66-59).
The third quarter stayed close as the visitors’ shooting slowed to 52%. RGV took advantage of the lull, hitting 57% and tying it up midway through. Texas finished strong with an 8-2 run to lead 95-86 going into the final minutes. The largest lead of the night (+17) came late in the fourth on a 13-2 streak, but the Vipers responded with a 12-point streak of their own to make it a two-possession game with under 1:30 to play. Texas secured their spot at the free-throw line to fend off the comeback efforts.
Justin Jackson led all scorers with 29 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals. Carlik Jones finished with 21 points, 4 rebounds, and JaQuori McLaughlin neared a double-double leading the boards with 11, 7 points, and 6 assists. Feron Hunt added 20 points and tied the team’s season-high with 5 steals. Loudon Love grabbed 18 points, 6 rebounds, and Olin Carter III came off the bench for 15 points (4-of-6 outside).
Daishen Nix powered the Vipers with 23 points, 6 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4 steals. Trevelin Queen came off the bench to add 22 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals. Lamb and Christian Vital added 18 each, while Tyler Bey and Usman Garuba put up 13 points, 8 rebounds apiece.
The in-state rivals will have a rematch Wednesday night at 7:30pm CT. Fans can catch all the action live on www.TexLegends.com