ONTARIO, Calif., Dec. 5, 2018 – The Agua Caliente Clippers (5-7) were unable to complete their rally as they fall to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers (7-6), 133-124, on Wednesday night.
After the Clippers fought back from a large deficit, Brandon Sampson’s clutch three-pointer with 34 seconds left in the game gave the Vipers a 129-124 lead. Sampson led the game with 31 points.
The Vipers were on fire in the first half, scoring a season-high 74 points while shooting 57 percent from the field and going 10-of-19 from three-point range. Center Isaiah Hartenstein, on assignment from NBA affiliate Houston Rockets, opened the game on the finishing end of an alley oop. His 15 first half points led Rio Grande Valley to a 74-54 lead going into the break.
Hartenstein flirted with a triple-double, finishing with 22 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.
The Clippers fought back in the second half, cutting the 20-point half time deficit to single-digits by the end of the third. Two-way player Angel Delgado led the way for Agua, scoring 12 third quarter points and pulling down 5 rebounds. His three-pointer with 4.9 seconds left in the third would bring the Clippers to within seven points.
Delgado finished with his eighth double-double of the season, leading the team with 24 points and a game-high 18 rebounds.
The Clippers travel to Des Moines on Sunday to face off against the Iowa Wolves in the second of a three-game season series. The game will tip off at 2 p.m. (PST) at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines, Iowa.