NBA assignees Isaiah Hartenstein and Gary Trent Jr. put on a show Saturday night in the Valley as the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (21-10) edged the Texas Legends (12-21) 129-125.
Hartenstein got off to a hot start with 12 points, 11 boards in the first, but the Legends used a combined 20-point effort from Trent Jr. and Daryl Macon to take a 32-24 jump into the second. Texas maintained control until the two-minute mark in the second when Michael Frazier sank two at the free throw line to put the home team back on top. The lead was short lasting though as Texas got the last shot to go into the break up 60-58.
The Legends extended their lead back to eight in the third, but Frazier and Hartenstein hit back-to-back-to-back threes to erase the deficit and put the Vipers up by one. Ray Spalding answered quickly, and the back-and-forth began. After nine lead changes, the two teams were tied up at 93 going into the final minutes. Just over a minute into the fourth, the Vipers took the lead and built their largest advantage of the night (+14). Facing an 11-point difference with two minutes to play, Texas hit six straight free throws and used a layup from Xavier Rathan-Mayes to make it a three-point game with 35 seconds on the clock. Frazier capitalized on one last opportunity and sealed the victory for the Vipers.
Trent Jr. led the Legends in scoring (34), rebounds (7), and steals (3), while Rathan-Mayes neared a double-double with 17 points, 7 rebounds, and 9 assists. Macon finished with 27 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, and Ray Spalding added 22 points, 6 rebounds, and a team-high 3 blocks. Kostas Antetokounmpo went 6-of-6 at the free throw line to finish with 12 points, 4 rebounds.
Hartenstein, like Trent Jr., had a career scoring night with 42 points while adding 21 rebounds. Frazier finished with 27 points, 6 rebounds, and Jordan Johnson dished out a game-high 10 assists with 8 points, 5 rebounds.
Texas returns home for five straight, tipping off Wednesday as the Legends host the Long Island Nets at 7pm. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.