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Venom From The Valley: Vipers Lose In D-League Finals

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Rio Grande Valley came up short in the D-League Finals against Raptors 905

Darius Morris led the Vipers to their only win of the finals.
Onydia Garza

After winning Game 1, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers were defeated in the next two games of the NBA D-League Finals. Raptors 905 brought home their first ever D-League championship. It was the perfect cap to a huge season for the Toronto Raptors’ affiliate.

This season, they had the D-League Coach of the Year Jerry Stackhouse, Defensive Player of the Year Edy Tavares, and finished with the best regular season record in the league, at 39-11.

The Vipers took home Game 1 behind a big game from Darius Morris. His scoring helped open up Rockets assignee Kyle Wiltjer. That was unfortunately the only home game for RGV, as they traveled north of the border for the remainder of the series.

The first game in the Six was a back and forth battle, but went to the home team. Wiltjer was the only Viper to have a strong game, as the offense struggled without Isaiah Taylor. He left early in the first quarter with a sprained ankle. Without his backcourt counterpart, Morris was not as effective as the first game. Fred VanVleet provided a big boost on assignment from the NBA club.

Game 3 was dominated by the 905. Fellow Raptors assignee Bruno Caboclo exploded for 31 points, and VanVleet added 28 points, with 14 assists. The final score was 122-96, and was never close in the second half.

It was a great season for Rio Grande Valley, but ends in a disappointing fashion. There were breakout performers like Gary Payton II, who signed with the Milwaukee Bucks, Isaiah Taylor, who signed a multi-year deal with the Rockets, and good experience for Chinanu Onuaku and Kyle Wiltjer on assignment.