POSTED: Thursday, October 8, 2009 - 9:56pm
UPDATED: Thursday, February 25, 2010 - 12:34pm
FORMER-VIPER BROOKS LEADS ROCKETS PAST CELTICS IN FRONT OF RECORD CROWD AT DODGE ARENA
October 7, 2009
HIDALGO, TEXAS – In front of a sellout crowd of 6,300, the largest to ever attend a basketball game at Dodge Arena, and believed to be the largest to ever attend a basketball game in the Rio Grande Valley, former-Rio Grande Valley Vipers point guard Aaron Brooks scored a game-high 21 points in 25 minutes of work to help the Houston Rockets beat the Boston Celtics 96-90 tonight in an NBA pre-season game.
The game marked the first ever match-up of two NBA teams in a game in the Rio Grande Valley, and the second time an NBA team has played in a game in the Rio Grande Valley. The Rockets previously beat the San Antonio Spurs, then of the American Basketball Association, 113-109, in an exhibition game on October 18, 1975 at what was then known as Pan-American University in Edinburg.
“This game underscores the future of basketball in the Rio Grande Valley. We already have 1,500 season ticket holders with nearly two months to go before our home opener, and before the game, there was a line around the arena of people trying to get in and of others trying to buy the few remaining tickets to tonight’s game. We look forward to not only a great Vipers season, but brining future NBA exhibition games to this wonderful community,” Vipers President Brian Michael Cooper said.
Brooks also chipped in with four assists while fellow former-Viper Joey Dorsey recorded five points and nine rebounds in 20 minutes of action.
The Celtics jumped out to a 28-19 lead after the first quarter thanks in part to six points each by Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Rasheed Wallace. Garnett also had four of his five rebounds during the quarter. Brooks countered with his first nine points to keep the Rockets within striking distance.
Down 57-47 with 8:41 to play in the third quarter, the Vipers went on an 11-0 run fueled in-part by Brooks, who had six of those points on a three-pointer and three free throws. That gave the Rockets their first lead of the game at 58-57 with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter.
David Anderson hit a jumper to tie the game 88-88, but with 2:22 remaining, Glen “Big Baby” Davis hit a fade-away jumper to give the Celtics the lead back. 20 seconds later, David Anderson faked inside, spun to the baseline, hit a fade-away jumper and was fouled as the Rockets took a lead that they won never relinquish.