The Austin Spurs opened up the D-League Showcase in impressive fashion on Wednesday night as they overcame a large first half deficit and rallied in the second half for a 119-100 win over the Rio Grande Valley Vipers. The win was the Spurs’ 10th of the year.
Here are a few of the takeaways from last night’s game.
Cory Jefferson stands out in limited time
Spurs forward/center Cory Jefferson had limited floor time due to foul trouble, and he eventually fouled out, but he did the most with his limited time. In 20 minutes, he finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and two blocked shots.
While Jefferson may not be the size of your prototypical big man, looking more like a lean small forward, the Vipers could not keep him off the boards. He was also efficient, shooting 50 percent from the field, but was just 1-of-4 on three point attempts.
Jefferson has range, and showed that at Baylor as he often roamed outside, allowing Isaiah Austin room to work down low. Of all the Austin Spurs players, he looks the most ready for a call-up for a 10-day contract. After the season he’s had so far, it’s clear Austin is very happy with the trade of their 2017 D-League draft selection in exchange for Jefferson.
Strong bench play leads Spurs to win
The Austin bench easily outscored the RGV bench, and was a big reason for the turnaround after the half. The bench scored 61 points to the Vipers’ 28.
Jarell Eddie and Jeff Ledbetter led the charge for the Spurs reserves with 17 and 16 points apiece. Eddie was especially key in the second half as he knocked down four three pointers.
Ledbetter’s breakout game
Ledbetter, who made it onto the Spurs roster after a local tryout, has been earning more minutes lately and has been a nice surprise for the team. Of the small sample size of games I’ve seen him in, he seems to have a good feel for the game, has shot the ball well and defended RGV’s standout guards well.
The 28-year-old guard easily topped his season averages of 6.7 points and 1.7 assists per game with his 16 point, five assist night. He also picked up a steal and a blocked shot.
Garino displays athletic ability
No words needed. Just press play.
Austin will be back in action tomorrow against Northern Arizone. The game is at 5 p.m. CST and will be broadcast on ESPNU and Facebook Live.