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Bighorns suffer season-ending defeat to Vipers, 135-118

By ThisIsReno

SUBMITTED NEWS RELEASE

In a game that featured 17 lead changes, it was a dominant fourth-quarter effort and a huge game for an NBA assignee that lifted the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a 135-118 victory over the Reno Bighorns in the decisive game three of the NBA D-League playoffs Tuesday night in State Farm Arena.

With the win, Rio Grande Valley advances to the second round of the D-League playoffs to meet the Austin Toros. Reno’s season comes to a close, with the Bighorns finishing the 2009-10 campaign with a franchise-record 29 wins.

Reno led in the early-going, and trailed by just a point entering the fourth quarter. But the final period of play belonged to the Vipers. Rio Grande Valley outscored Reno 41-25 in the period, an effort that pushed it to round two. Mike Harris, who was assigned to Rio Grande Valley by the Houston Rockets this morning, scored 45 points and grabbed 13 boards.

Doug Thomas and Rod Benson shared the scoring lead for Reno, collecting 21 points apiece. Richie Frahm hit four three-pointers en route to 20 points, and Will Blalock scored 15 points with eight assists.

In addition to Harris’ effort, Craig Winder scored 18 points for the Vipers, and Will Conroy added 24 points and six assists.

Season tickets for the 2010-11 season of Reno Bighorns basketball are on-sale now. Call (775) 284-2NBA or visit www.RenoBighorns.com for details.

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.