Thanks to hot shooting and some sound defense down the stretch, the Texas Legends evened up their record by beating the Rio Grande Viper 108 to 102 Tuesday night in Frisco.
Despite the Vipers early lead, the Legends pulled through midway through the first quarter thanks their offense finally hitting on all cylinders. Both Xavier Johnson and Keith Hornsby came off the bench and gave the team much needed scoring help and established a 25-16 lead at the end of one.
The Legends would extend their lead with their hot shooting and stifling defense for much of the second quarter. Two more Legends filled the box score as Daryl Macon and Rashad Vaughn both hot and helped the team hold off any comeback, leading by 12 at halftime.
Then midway through the fourth, the Vipers made a huge run cutting down the Legend lead to just two points when Vipers Chris Walker hits a hook shot with just 5 minutes left in the game. Yet, that is as close as the Vipers would get all night as the Legends defense came up big at certain points and the Legends would go on to seal the win against what some call one of the best teams in the Vipers.
“I thought we took good shots, some went in and some didn’t,” head coach Bob MacKinnon said. “We had some great production off the bench from Keith and Xavier. I thought it was a very good team win over a team that’s very good.”
MacKinnon said he told the team that the Vipers can make runs and he was pleased with how they handled themselves.
Macon led the team with 28 points while Hornsby added 20 off the bench. Xavier Johnson, who also came off the bench, had 15 points and 15 rebounds. Vaughn contributed 15 and 6 rebounds during the game.
The Legends shot the ball well as a team with a 41.9% with a 44.4 percentage from beyond the arc. They also held the Vipers to just 32.7% shooting, a team that has been shooting the ball very well as of late. The offensive production tonight is something that Xavier Johnson thinks is just the start of something good for this team.
“ We’ve been stagnant,” Johnson said. “Tonight the mission was just to get the ball, get the rebounds, push it all the way up the court, don’t get stagnant and got to keep moving.”
Johnson said this team can gain a lot of momentum from this win and it can teach them that how important their bench is for this team going forward.
“Our starters are all great players, but they get tired,” Johnson said. “ It is up to our bench to bring that spark so that we can continue to get better and better moving forward.”
The team is off until Saturday when they host the Maine Red Claws at 7:30 p.m CST at the Dr.Pepper Arena.
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