D-League Game of the Day: Rio Grande Valley Vipers Vs. Austin Toros


Nando De Colo challenges two Houston defenders.

Even at the Developmental League level, the Rio Grande Valley Vipers have evolved into must-see TV. The D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets has emerged as the league’s most lethal offense, scoring 131.8 points while shooting 48 three-pointers per contest. Troy Daniels, their sixth man is averaging 25.1 points and draining more than six shots from beyond the arc per game. Oh, and did I mention they’re undefeated?

The Vipers are 8-0 and are led by rookie coach Nevada Smith. The squad features two players with NBA experience, Isaiah Canaan and Robert Covington. Canaan, 22, was the Rockets’ second-round pick in June’s draft. After spending more than a month with Houston, he was assigned to the Vipers on November 7. The guard has flourished, scoring 21.4 points and recording 9.5 assists in eight games.

Covington, also 22, signed with the Rockets in July before also being assigned to the team on Nov. 7. The forward is playing quality basketball, averaging 18 points and grabbing down 9 boards per game.

The Austin Toros (3-3) look to improve to 3-1 on their home court. Nando De Colo has bounced back and forth between the Toros and the San Antonio Spurs in the month of December a couple of times now, but performs extremely well every time he puts on his Toro uniform. In two appearances, the 26-year-old guard is averaging 30.5 points, 7 assists and 4.5 steals in 38 minutes per contest.

The team also boasts former NBA players Josh Howard and Ronald “Flip” Murray. Howard, a former All-Star is averaging 13.8 points and 5.2 rebounds in his first ever five D-League games. Murray is dropping 12.6 points per contest.


Although Austin is playing on their home court, the Vipers have too many offensive weapons to be taken down by the Toros.

Vipers, 115 – Toros, 111

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Time: 12:00 P.M. ET

Check out Daniels’ 31 point-performance from their 115-114 over the Reno Bighorns on Tuesday. The guard dropped 31 points, knocking down 8 three-pointers in the process.

(Via Scott Rafferty’s article)