HILDAGO, Texas, Nov. 29, 2008 - Smush Parker and Trent Strickland scored 24 points each to lead the Rio Grande Valley Vipers to a 106-98 NBA Development League victory over the Utah Flash Saturday at the Dodge Arena.
After building a 52-31 halftime lead, the Vipers led by as many as 29 points in the second half before the Flash battled back to cut the lead to six points on a three-pointer by Andre Ingram with just under 30 seconds left to play and then to 104-98 on a Bill Walker jam in the final 10 seconds.
"We were who we thought we were for the first 24 minutes," Rio Grande Valley coach Clay Moser said. "Then we got bored."
The Vipers built a 28-10 lead after the first quarter and then held Utah without a field goal for an eight-minute stretch during the second quarter and forced 17 Flash turnovers by the half. The Flash missed 14 of its first 19 field goal attempts while the Vipers made 12 of their first 19.
"Not being ready to play early on in back-to-back road games is obviously a problem," Flash coach Brad Jones said. "We weren't ready to go early and you have to be able to play four quarters and not three."
Walker led Flash scorers with 26 points, followed by fellow Boston Celtics assignee J.R. Giddens with 15. Carlos Wheeler had 12 and 13 rebounds for his first Flash double-double. Dontell Jefferson chipped in 10.
Alton Ford scored 14 and grabbed nine rebounds for Rio Grande Valley, followed by Delonte Holland with 12. Kendall Dartez and Quin Humphrey chipped in 11 each.
The victory lifts Rio Grande Valley to 2-0, while the Flash drop to 1-1 heading into the home opener Monday against the Bakersfield Jam at the McKay Events Center at 7 p.m. MT.