The Daily Grind: Vipers Continue Extended Road Trip With 3-1 Streak, And Reinforcements Are Coming In Reggie Fortier (2026 Day 37-42 Recap)
- By Michael Miller, Day 45, 2026
PITTSBURGH - The Vipers closed on their long awaited acquisition of SF/PF Reggie Fortier from the Denver Dragons, but rolled into Day 42 with several key wins on the road against Western Conference teams.
Day 37: Charlotte over Pittsburgh, 116-108
Charlotte had a tough stretch to start the year, but are still very much expected to be a playoff team. This was a nice test on the road for a developing Vipers team.
It started off very poorly for Pittsburgh as Eric Greely was called for two quick fouls early in the first quarter and was parked on the bench for almost the entire first quarter. Charlotte’s wings feasted in Eric’s absence, combining for 19 points and opening up a 30-15 lead over the Vipers at the end of the first quarter.
The Drones maintained a double-digit lead for the entire 2nd quarter, extending the lead to 49-28 with 7:04 in the second quarter following 3 pointers by Daniel Pedroso in back-to-back possessions. Charlotte maintained that margin to the end of the 2Q with a 69-48 lead.
In the third quarter, the Vipers cut the lead to 84-74 thanks to the play of Triston Lane and Rashaad Haslem. Lane had his third triple-double of the season with 24 points, 11 assists and 15 rebounds. Meanwhile, Haslem had nine points in the third quarter, and 17 points total, to help cut the lead to 89-82 to start the fourth quarter.
With a three-point make, Greely cut the lead all the way down to 95-94 with 9:19 to go in the fourth quarter. The Vipers kept the score within 1-2 possessions until PG DeAngelo Tarver hit a shot from deep with 2:10 left to extend the lead to 112-105. Tarver’s shot effectively put the game away, as the Vipers went scoreless the remainder of the way, save for a meaningless 3-pointer at the buzzer by Greely.
Charlotte won on the strength of their bench, as they held a 44-to-33 advantage on Pittsburgh on bench points. Khalen Anthony was the leading scorer for the Drones with 21 points.
Day 38: Pittsburgh over Kansas City, 102-94
In hindsight, Jerry Miller likely should have conceded the game against the Drones and saved some of his players’ energy for their matchup against the Knights in Kansas City. Although the Vipers came out with a win over the struggling Knights, it was not decided until late.
Neither team shot particularly well, as each team was under 41% from the field. On the back of two three-pointers from Troy Phillips and makes by Eric Greely and Scottie Hartman, the Vipers generated a small 26-25 lead at the end of the first quarter. It was more of the same in the second quarter, as Scottie Hartman at two three-pointers in a quarter where nine different Vipers scored points and Pittsburgh held a narrow 53-48 lead at the end of the first half.
Omari Woodley took control early in the second half, scoring 6 straight points on behalf of the Knights to put them ahead 54-53. Woodley finished the game with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 2 blocks. On the strength of big shots by Greely and Lane, the Vipers edged out to a 75-70
lead to end the third quarter.
Again Kansas City chipped away early in the 4th, eliminating the deficit and taking a 78-77 lead at the mandatory timeout with 8:31 left. Television cameras caught Vipers coach Jerry Miller ripping into his players for their inability to put the game away.
Out of the timeout, Triston Lane got the inbounds pass from Matt Mueller and aggressively drove to the basket to grab the lead right back for the Vipers. Pittsburgh would not trail again the rest of the way, eventually leading by double digits for most of the rest of the game and clinching a 102-94 win.
Lane finished with 19 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Greely was the team’s leading scorer with 20 points and also contributed 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in the win.
Day 41: Pittsburgh over Phoenix, 95-92 (OT)
The Vipers were certainly concerned that they had made themselves marked men by Drayton Banks in this matchup. On Day 35, Pittsburgh harassed Banks and caused him get in foul trouble early, allowing the Vipers to run up a double-digit score and handily defeat Phoenix by a 100-81 score. Banks got his revenge individually, scoring 35 points, 16 rebounds and 2 blocks in this rematch, but Pittsburgh got the hard-fought win in overtime.
Early on, it seemed like the game would be an easy win for the Vipers like on Day 35 as, after a closely contested first quarter, the Vipers slowly pulled away in the second quarter and went into the locker-room up 55-36. Most of the second quarter run began while Banks was resting. For whatever reason, the Vultures coaching staff sat Banks most of the second quarter and did not bring him back until less than 5 minutes to go in the half and Phoenix was down 41-26.
Pittsburgh struggled from the field in the 3rd quarter, hitting only 6 of 21 shot attempts as the Vultures clawed back to 72-62 at the end of the third quarter. With 9:16 left in regulation, Banks put his revenge plan in motion by pounding the ball inside to get easy shots and fouls. In 3 minutes of game action, Banks was fouled 3 times and also converted two shots at the rim. His shot with 2:39 left in the game gave the Vultures their first lead since the first quarter at 80-79.
After Demetrius Stith added to the lead, Vipers rookie Bo Anderson tied the game at 82-82 with a 3-pointer with 2:04 to go. Pittsburgh looked like they had the win after Haslem concerted a two-pointer to put Pittsburgh up 84-82 with 43 seconds left then Rasheed Fisher missed a long two-pointer to tie it up. Desperate to get the ball back, the Vultures intentionally fouled Anderson with two seconds left. Though Bo had come through in similar situations this year, he missed both free throws and, after Fisher caught the rebound, took their last time out.
Looking frantically for an out but with Banks double-covered, Fisher inbounded to an open Adonis Gatling. Gatling gathered himself and took a fade-away long two with the time expired. The Vipers looked shell-shocked as it went in and tied the game at 84-84 to go into overtime.
In the overtime, Rashaad Haslem took over and scored the Vipers first 6 points to get a 90-86 lead. After Gatling made another long jump shot, the Vultures again fouled Bo to send him to this line. This time, Anderson came through and sunk both free throws to put Pittsburgh up 92-88.
Down 92-90, Phoenix had the ball and several opportunities to tie it up or take the lead, but just could not convert:
90-92 Lane misses three pointer (7/12 FG, 0/2 3P)
01:00 Defensive rebound by Gatling (6 DR, 7 TR) 90-92
00:54 Banks misses close (13/24 FG), blocked by Greely (4 BK) 90-92
00:53 Offensive rebound by Vidmar (6 OFR, 13 TR) 90-92
00:36 Vidmar misses mid-range jump shot (6/15 FG), blocked by Anderson (3 BK) 90-92
00:35 Offensive rebound by Gatling (2 OFR, 8 TR) 90-92
00:12 Banks misses at rim (13/25 FG), blocked by Haslem (5 BK) 90-92
00:11 Offensive rebound by Vidmar (7 OFR, 14 TR) 90-92
00:08 Turnover by Stith (bad pass out of bounds) 90-92
00:07 Personal foul by Stith (3 FL, 4 TM) 90-92
Lane coolly made 3 out of 4 free throws to ice the game for the Vipers. It was a solid game for Triston, as he had 20 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 blocks in the game. Haslem finished with 29 points, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks.
It was a valiant effort for Banks, but also by Sasha Vidmar who had a triple-double of 13 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Day 42: Pittsburgh over Las Vegas, 107-105
After an OT win against Phoenix, the Vipers had to dig deep for their second half of the back to back against the Scorpions. Although Las Vegas is rebuilding, Trey Astbury can be difficult to match up against.
Sure enough, the Scorpions led the vast majority of the game. At multiple times, Las Vegas was able to extend it to a double-digit lead. Down 100-93 with less than five minutes to go, Rashaad Haslem scored on three of the next four Viper possessions to cut the lead to 102-99. Troy Phillips next tied it up at 102-102 with a long-bombing three, only for fellow rookie Michel Saint-Jean to hit another 3 to take the lead again.
For the second straight game, Bo Anderson tied the game at 105-105 with 1:09 left in the 4th quarter. After Phillips was stripped of the ball, Astbury had a wide open view of the basket before Triston Lane made an unbelievably athletic play to swat the ball out of Astbury’s hands. Lane came up with the rebound and and called timeout with 7 seconds left. Greely got the call and made a great move to get a great view of the basket and sunk the game winner with 3 seconds to go. Montreal Cleveland missed a three-point chance from half-court and Pittsburgh got the narrow win.
Lane had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists for his 4th triple-double in 2026. Greely had 27 points, 8 assists and 3 blocks and Haslem had 29 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals.
The Leather Jacket: Eric Greely earns his first leather jacket by being the leading scorer against the Drones and hitting the game winner against the Scorpions.
Up Next: Pittsburgh finishes up its road trip by welcoming Reggie Fortier into their lockerroom for a matchup against the Los Angeles Fireballs (12-9) on Day 44 then to the Seattle Thunder (11-10) on Day 46.