SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE
Facing elimination from their first-ever trip to the postseason, the Reno Bighorns picked-up a gutsy 128-126 victory over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers Monday in Dodge Arena. The win evens the first-round series at one game apiece and forces a decisive game three on Tuesday night.
With the game tied and down to the final seconds, D.J. Strawberry connected on a jumper to put the Bighorns up by two with five seconds remaining. Rio Grande Valley failed to convert in the closing seconds, pushing Reno to its first-ever postseason win.
The Bighorns caught fire early, but the Vipers would rally back in the second half. Reno led by seven points after one and augmented the lead to 11 at the break. Rio Grande Valley would storm back to take a five-point lead with just 1:35 to go, but Reno would score the final seven points of the game to extend the series.
Rod Benson led all scorers with 29 points and 18 boards in 40 minutes of action. Desmon Farmer hit four three-pointers en route to 27 points, and Strawberry added 21 points and three blocks for the Bighorns.
Antonio Anderson paced the Vipers with 28 points and seven rebounds. Will Conroy kicked-in 27 points, eight boards and six assists.
The Bighorns and Vipers will now move forward to a decisive game three on Tuesday night. Tip-time is set for 5:30 p.m. PT in Dodge Arena. The game can be seen live on NBA Futurecast by visiting www.RenoBighorns.com.
The NBA Development League, founded in 2001, is the NBA’s official minor league whose teams have direct affiliations to NBA franchises. For the 2009-10 season, the league will feature 16 teams – including the debut of the Maine Red Claws and the Springfield Armor. A proven developer of talent, 20 percent of players in the NBA at the conclusion of the 2008-09 season boasted NBA D-League experience, while the league continues to develop coaches, referees, and front office staff for the NBA and its teams. In fostering the league’s connection to the community, its teams, players and staff promote health and wellness, support local needs and interests, and assist in educational development through NBA D-League Cares programs. The NBA D-League also advances the game of basketball as the research and development arm of the NBA. Throughout the season fans can watch all NBA D-League games on NBA Futurecast, the free live Web-streaming initiative found at nba.com/futurecast.