STONY BROOK, N.Y. (AP) — The Rio Grande Valley Vipers are G League champions for the third time.
Isaiah Hartenstein scored 30 points, Dakarai Tucker and Michael Frazier each added 24 and the Vipers — the Houston Rockets’ affiliate — never trailed on the way to beating the Long Island Nets 129-112 on Friday night in Game 3 of the G League Finals.
Gary Payton II added 17 for the Vipers. Rio Grande Valley won the series 2-1, and added this title to ones the franchise claimed in 2010 and 2013 when what’s now the G League was known as the NBA Development League.
A 24-2 run in the second quarter put the game away for the Vipers, who lost Game 1 of the title series before rallying to win the title.
Hartenstein made a pair of 3-pointers in an early 8-0 run that put the Vipers up 30-16, and the barrage in the second quarter left no doubt. Jordan Johnson scored 10 points in the 24-2 spurt, including the first seven — those coming in a span of 52 seconds.
Alan Williams scored 26 points, Dzanan Musa had 24 and Jordan McLaughlin added 22 for Long Island. The Nets, Brooklyn’s affiliate, and the Vipers were among four teams who were tied for the G League’s best regular-season record at 34-16.
The G League had 27 teams this season, and will grow to 28 next season.