Down 103-100 with 8.8 seconds left in the game, Jerel McNeal hit a clutch three-pointer to tie the game and send it to overtime. Damion James then accounted for the only basket scored by either team in the three minute overtime, a driving layup that put the Jam up 105-103 with just 48.5 seconds left in the game.
From there, both teams exchanged a free throw, and with 3.5 seconds left, Renaldo Major blocked a jump shot by Terrence Jones to preserve the 106-104 victory in Bakersfield on Sunday afternoon.
Bakersfield went into halftime holding a 55-48 lead, and despite poor shooting in the third quarter (31.6%), the Jam held off the Vipers to maintain a 73-69 advantage heading into the final period. Rio Grande then outscored the Jam by seven points to take that three-point lead with just under nine seconds left in regulation. McNeal then tied it, James regained it, and Major blocked it, as all three had a huge hand in the big win.
Major finished the game as the all-time leading scorer in NBA D-League history (3,812), as he ended up with eight points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks, the last one being the game saver.
Damion James led Bakersfield with a game-high 27 points to go along with 11 rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Shan Foster scored 18 off the bench, while Jerel McNeal added 17, and a game-high seven assists.
Jones led the Vipers with 24 points, nine rebounds, and three blocks. Vernon Macklin posted a double-double off the bench with 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Mike Singletary chipped in with18, and six rebounds.
Bakersfield will open the new-year at home against the Iowa Energy on Sunday, January 6.
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