Former University of Kentucky star Kyle Wiltjer scored a team-high 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds Wednesday night to lead Rio Grande Valley to a berth in the NBA D-League finals.
Wiltjer, an NBA rookie on assignment from the Houston Rockets, was 6-for-16 from three-point range in the Vipers’ 114-102 win in the deciding Game 3 of the Western Conference finals against the Oklahoma City Blue.
Another former Kentucky star, Dakari Johnson, led the Blue with 31 points and nine rebounds. The onetime Sayre standout was 11-for-13 from the field and 9-for-12 at the free-throw line.
The Vipers also got nine points and 14 rebounds from former Louisville center Chinanu Onuaku.
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Rio Grande Valley will face Raptors 905, Toronto’s D-League squad, in a best-of-three championship series.
Wiltjer, who finished up his college career at Gonzaga, has averaged 23.5 points, 8.5 rebounds and 1.7 assists while shooting 40.8 percent from three-point range in six playoff games.
Johnson’s 31 points Wednesday was a franchise record for the playoffs. He wrapped up his second season playing for the Thunder’s D-League squad averaging 24.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 1.3 assists in six postseason games.