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The Austin Spurs pull off a valiant comeback over the streaky Rio Grande Valley Vipers

Luka Samanic dominates down low in his return from a one-game absence

Rio Grande Valley Vipers v Austin Spurs Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

The Austin Spurs completed yet another double-digit comeback, erasing a 15-point second-quarter deficit to narrowly defeat the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, 104-101, and improve to 5-1 on the season.

While San Antonio’s G-League affiliate floundered with Luka Samanic in the lineup on Wednesday, the second-year forward led the charge with a game-high 29 points and 12 rebounds in his return.

The Spurs had trouble finding any rhythm on the offensive end through the first few frames. And despite struggling to finish at the rim or beyond the arc, Samanic remained aggressive.

“You miss or make it’s the same reaction,” said Samanic. “It’s just a shot, so just run back and try again.”

Rio Grande Valley didn’t aid Austin’s cause as they knocked down ten first-half three-pointers, though a buzzer-beating midcourt heave from Tre Jones kept the Spurs within striking distance.

Austin shot the ball a smidge better and cut down on turnovers coming out of the break, but it was their stark defensive adjustments on the perimeter that allowed them to outscore the Vipers 53-40 in the second half.

“We had to adjust a little bit on the fly,” said head coach Matt Nielsen. “I think we did a bit better job of not giving up the easy ones and letting them have to work a little bit harder.”

Some dominant play down the stretch from Luka Samanic, Tre Jones, and London Perrantes made sure Rio Grande Valley would never retake the lead after the game-clock hit the 3:12 mark of the final frame.

The Spurs occasionally showed their understandable unfamiliarity with one another when miscommunicating on routine plays. However, the good guys are steadily building solid chemistry with each passing contest.

The Austin Spurs will have two days of rest before returning for more G-League bubble action on Saturday when they take on the Westchester Knicks at the AdventHealth Arena at 6 PM CST.