Jalen Green managed to regain his touch from the field, but it was not enough to lift Ignite past Rio Grande Valley, bowing 107-130, in a crucial G League tiff, Friday (Manila time).
RGV improved to 8-6 and keeps its playoff hopes alive. On the other hand, Ignite fell to 7-7 with a crucial regular-season finale ahead.
Jalen Green notched his eighth 20-point game of the season, scoring 22 points to lead Ignite’s five players in double figures.
Ignite jumped out to a 7-2 lead to open the game, but couldn’t sustain the momentum. The Vipers knocked down 10 three-pointers in the first half, led by three from Anthony Lamb. With lineup staple Jonathan Kuminga out for Ignite due to right knee soreness, Green and Isaiah Todd carried the bulk of the work for the rookies. The two finished the half with 11 and six points, respectively.
The Vipers shot 52.1 percent (25-48) in the first half, while Ignite shot 42.5 percent (17-40). They also turned the ball over nine times to trail 64-50.
Josh Reaves scored 15 points for the Vipers in the third quarter, shooting 6-of-6 and connecting on three three-pointers. RGV continued to build on its lead, outscoring Ignite 40-26 for a near-30-point buffer entering the final quarter, 104-76.
Ignite mounted a 31-point comeback effort in the fourth quarter, led by 10 points from Todd. Ignite shot 54.2 percent (13-24), its best all game, and limited the Vipers to 39.1 percent (9-23) from the field.
Coming off a 26-point outing yesterday, Brandon Ashley finished with a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Todd (16 points, 7 rebounds), Bobby Brown (15 points, 5 assists), and Reggie Hearn (14 points) also finished in double figures.
NBA G League scoring leader Kevin Porter Jr., who averaged 24.0 ppg entering Thursday’s matchup, scored a game-high 28 points. He also had a near triple-double with 10 assists and nine rebounds.
Armoni Brooks (26 points) and Reaves (20) also finished with 20-point games. The Vipers combined to shoot 51.1 percent (47-92) from the field and 42 percent (21-50) from three-point range.
Ignite wraps up its regular season against the Austin Spurs on Sunday.