The Texas Legends (19-18) came up short in the second half, allowing a 46-point fourth from the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (12-23) to fall 124-132.
Texas got off to a hot start in the first, knocking down 57% from the field and 38% outside. Led by a 12-point performance from Cameron Payne, the visitors took control just over four minutes in and held a 31-24 lead at the buzzer. The Legends extended the gap to double digits early in the second and led by as many as 14. A 6-0 run put the Vipers within six, but Dakota Mathias closed the first half with a long ball to put Texas up 62-53 heading into the locker room.
Opening the third with an 8-0 run, Texas took their largest lead of the night (+17). Eight minutes later, the Vipers had erased the deficit and jumped ahead by one going into the final quarter. Yudai Baba grabbed the first points of the fourth sinking an outside jumper to put Texas back on top, but the Vipers responded with an 11-0 run and would hold the advantage through the final buzzer.
All 10 active players scored for Texas and seven finished with double digits. Cameron Payne led the contest with 33 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and a block. Dakota Mathias finished with 18 points, 6 assists, and 3 steals. Moses Brown added the Legends’ only double-double despite early foul trouble tallying 12 points, 12 rebounds in 13 minutes. Jaylen Hoard joined Brown off the bench for 10 rebounds, 8 points, and 4 assists. Josh Reaves and Antonius Cleveland combined for 25 points with Reaves dishing out 5 assists and Cleveland grabbing 8 rebounds.
Four Vipers finished with 20 or more, led by Rockets assignee Isaiah Hartenstein who powered out 25 points, 16 rebounds, and 4 steals. Chris Clemons added 27 points, 4 rebounds, and 5 assists, and Michael Frazier tabbed 26 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Brandon Sampson came off the bench for 20 points, 7 rebounds, and Isaiah Taylor rounded out the double digits with 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Texas will get a rematch Wednesday at home, hosting the Vipers at 7pm CT. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.