OKLAHOMA CITY, Dec. 20, 2016 – The Oklahoma City Blue (9-7) defeated the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (11-6), 112-105 on Tuesday night.
With the score tied at 100 and 2:08 left in the game, Dakari Johnson drove to the basket and hit a layup for the go-ahead basket. The Blue went on a 12-0 run and Alex Caruso hit three free throws in the final two minutes to seal the win for Oklahoma City.
“I thought after the three-minute mark…We clamped down and we made it difficult on them,” Head Coach Mark Daigneault said. “They had to take tough shots, which is a testament to our competiveness.”
Caruso scored 10 in the final quarter, finishing with a career-high, and team-leading, 23 points. Johnson and Daniel Hamilton added 21 and 19, respectively.
The Blue and the Vipers were tied at 54-all at halftime, but a 30-point third quarter propelled the Blue into the final quarter with a five-point lead. Johnson paced the Blue with seven points in the quarter.
But four minutes into the fourth quarter, Rio Grande Valley reclaimed the lead and would go up by as much as five before the Blue surged back and took the final lead.
“I think it was all the work we did before the last three minutes set us up for that,” Caruso said. “Then it’s just getting stops and playing hard to win the game.”
Josh Huestis, assigned by the Thunder earlier in the day, contributed 12 points and 13 rebounds, his first double-double of the season. Huestis was one of five Blue players in double figures.
Up next, Oklahoma City goes on the road to face the Northern Arizona Suns at the Prescott Valley Event Center on Friday night at 8 p.m. CT.