The Rio Grande Valley Vipers defeated the Santa Cruz Warriors 102-91 to capture the 2012-13 NBA Development League Championship for the second time in four seasons. The Vipers were led by D.J. Kennedy’s game-high 27 points to go with seven rebounds and six assists, while Glen Rice, Jr. chipped in 25 points and 13 rebounds. The Warriors’ Travis Leslie scored a team-high 16 points and added 13 rebounds in defeat.
The Vipers dominated the first half, leading by as many as 17 points as Rice, Jr. and Kennedy combined for 33 of the team’s 56 points heading into the halftime break. Santa Cruz was led by Jeremy Tyler, who was four-of-five from the floor, scoring 10 points in the second quarter.
The Warriors charged out of the halftime break, outscoring the Vipers 26-17 in the period on the back of eight Travis Leslie points, his first of the game. Santa Cruz cut the Rio Grande Valley lead to as few as five points, 69-64, with 2:00 minutes to play in the third before settling for a six point deficit at the end of three, 73-67.
Scott Machado scored six points as part of a 12-0 Warriors run in the opening five minutes of the fourth quarter, taking Santa Cruz on his back and leading the team to a one-point disadvantage, 82-81 with 7:31 to play. The next two minutes of the game were all Vipers, though, with Toure Murry, Tyler Honeycutt and Kennedy connecting on back-to-back-to-back buckets, scoring a quick six points and stretching the Rio Grande Valley’s lead to seven, 88-81, with 5:28 to play in the game. From there, the teams traded buckets before a Rice three pointer gave his team a 93-88 advantage. The Vipers never looked back en route to the Championship win.
For Rio Grande Valley, Murry finished with 13 points and Mike Singletary scored 10 in the win, while Machado finished with 15 off the bench for Santa Cruz.