The Rio Grande Valley Vipers finished strong on Thursday night erasing a seven-point deficit to send the Sioux Falls Skyforce to the 129-124 defeat.

With 3:51 left, Sioux Falls (20-11) a fast break layup by Bubu Palo made the score 120-113. It was the apex of a steady climb that began early in the third quarter when the hosts had built a 15-point spread.

However the Vipers (18-13) mustered a final stand by hitting three of their next four shots to tie the game at 120. Less than a minute remained with the score knotted at 123 when consecutive possessions with offensive fouls by the ‘Force tipped the balance to Rio Grande Valley.

In his first start since returning from a hand injury, Palo sparkled with 24 points on 7 of 10 shooting hitting both of his three point shots as well. Two of his teammates outscored Palo on the night with Keith Benson providing 29 points and 14 rebounds and Henry Walker off the bench with 26. Briante Weber’s contributions were also noteworthy with 15 points, 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 5 steals.

For the Vipers, Darius Morris put up an impressive 30-point, 9-assist night. Six others for RGV scored 10 or more including Gary Payton II with 16 points and 13 rebounds. In case you are wondering, that is the son of “The Glove.”

The Austin Spurs will head south to meet up with Rio Grande Valley tonight (February 3) in Hidalgo, Texas. Sioux Falls will head to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex to meet the Texas Legends on Saturday.

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