SEVENS FALL TO VIPERS TO DROP TO 1-1 ON ROAD TRIP
By Varun Raghupathi, 24/Sevens Insider
HIDALGO, TX – The Delaware 87ers (22-18) lost their only matchup of the year against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (25-15) 136-112. The Vipers, the D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets, took hold of the lead midway through the first quarter and never relinquished it. The Sevens are now 1-1 on their current four-game road trip.
Playing in their first game without James Webb III, who is done for the season after fracturing his right ankle, Delaware struggled to keep up with Rio Grande Valley’s potent offense. The Vipers put up 35, 34 and 41 points in the first three quarters, good for 110 points before the fourth even began.
The Vipers came into the action owning a 13-4 home record and a 6-1 mark against Eastern Conference teams. The team shot 54 percent in the first half and had four players in double figures before intermission. Six Vipers finished above 10 points, while five 87ers reached the threshold. Both teams featured balanced scoring attacks, but the Vipers’ troops were clicking on all cylinders in this one.
Aaron Harrison (25), Roscoe Smith (23), Russ Smith (19), Devondrick Walker (13) and Mikh Mckinney (13) led the way for the Sevens in the scoring department. None of those players were on the opening night roster. In fact, only Carlos Lopez remains from that bunch.
The 87ers have 10 games left this season, and although they’ve already set the franchise mark for wins in a season, they are still on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. They remain fifth in the East and just behind a handful of teams also vying for the postseason.
No rest for the weary as the Sevens get set to face the Austin Spurs Thursday night. Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET.