Ignite win again on road, snap 4-game slide
While fighting off another late collapse, the NBA G League Ignite picked up another road win as they snapped a four-game backward slide for the team.
In the team’s fifth back-to-back game this year, the Ignite beat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 114-107, from the Bert Ogden Arena Saturday, Jan. 21. This year’s developmental group is 2-3 in back-to-back games this season.
With the win, the Ignite are now 3-1 on the road this season and are now 6-7 overall. As it currently stands, the team is slated seventh in the Western Conference.
For a brief pitstop, the Ignite will return home for a date with the Salt Lake City Stars Thursday, Jan. 26 from The Dollar Loan Center. Following that matchup, the team will go back on the road for six consecutive games.
One night ago, the Ignite had a 15-point lead not hold up as the Vipers used a 10-1 run to close the game and steal a win away from the visiting developmental group.
The Ignite found themselves with another 15-point lead in the third quarter of this one prior to another feverous comeback from Rio Grande Valley. The Vipers cut the deficit down to four points early in the fourth quarter before the Ignite would once again stretch it to double-digits.
With time running down, Rio Grande Valley made another push to tie the game, even coming within a possession when the lead was cut down to three points with less than three minutes left to play.
Center Eric Mika originally recorded his ninth double-double of the season but ended the night with picking up his first triple-double of the year. Mika recorded 16 points, 18 rebounds and 12 assists to go along with a block.
Mika’s effort helped the Ignite win the rebounding battle, 48-36. In the first game of the back-to-back, the Ignite were outrebounded by 13. That statistical category made up for the 16 turnovers committed by this year’s developmental team despite forcing six on the other end.
Starting guard John Jenkins led all Ignite scorers with 20 points on 7-of-13 from the floor including four made three-pointers. This marked the fifth straight time Jenkins has led the team in scoring while reaching 20 or more in each contest.
Fellow guard London Johnson poured in a season-high 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting as he started for projected No. 2 overall pick, Scoot Henderson, who missed a second straight game as he nursed a tweaked ankle.
The team also played without forward Leonard Miller (back) for the second straight game as well as forward Shareef O’Neal, who stayed back in Las Vegas to rehab his injured ankle. The Ignite are already without center Efe Abogidi (knee) for the remainder of the season.
Guard Cameron Young added 19 points off-the-bench along with 11 more from fellow guard Aubrey Dawkins. Guard Sidy Cissoko rounded out the double-figure scorers with 11 points from his starting role.