Bird's 32 Points Not Enough in Wisconsin
BIRD'S 32 POINTS NOT ENOUGH IN WISCONSIN
Milwaukee, WI - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, got a monster performance from Jabari Bird, but were unable to defeat the Wisconsin Herd, 132-125.
Bird finished with 32 points for Maine (4-2) on 11-22 shooting. Trey Davis added a spark off the bench with 26 points, and L.J. Peak added 21 points for the short-handed Red Claws, who were without Kadeem Allen and Daniel Dixon, both out with injuries. Daniel Ochefu grabbed 15 rebounds in the loss.
Former Red Claw and Celtics draft pick James Young led Wisconsin (5-1) with 40 points on 12-15 shooting.
The game started with Jon Holmes completing a three point play, putting Maine up three. Peak, making the start in place of the injured Allen, followed up a solid performance Thursday by starting strong. Peak's slashing lay-in made it a 7-6 game, and Ochefu's free throws gave the Claws a 1 point lead. Peak's three point play made it a 13-9 lead. The Herd would respond - Cliff Alexander's alley-oop slam plus the foul gave Wisconsin a 21-17 lead. Drew Barham and Trey Davis made back-to-back three's late, and when the dust settled on the 1st quarter, Maine held a 28-26 lead.
The Herd opened the 2nd quarter on a 9-0 run, when Michael Dunigan hit a baseline jumper to put Wisconsin up 35-28. Bird ended that with a resounding slam. Former Red Claw James Young made a 4-point play, extending Wisconsin's lead to 11 points, and Alexander's lay-in made it 45-32 with 7:00 to go. Long three's from Bird and Peak cut the deficit to six. Then, off a steal, Bird's highlight reel windmill slam cut it to one - at the break, Maine trailed 58-57. Davis led the way for Maine with 13 points at the break, while Young had 18 on 6-8 shooting in the first half.
In the 3rd, Wisconsin opened up on a 7-0 run. The Herd would extend the lead to 15 before Maine mounted a comeback. Daniel Ochefu's slam cut it to 80-71. Bird's lay-in and ensuing three cut it to 4. Peak dropped in a triple to make it 84-81 Herd with 4:00 to go. Andrew White dropped in a late triple, but a tip-in at the buzzer made it 97-92 Wisconsin after 3 quarters of play.
In the 4th quarter, Peak dropped in a four-point play, but the Herd immediately extended the lead back to double-digits. Shannon Brown made it 109-98 with his bucket with 9:00 to go. Bird's back-to-back buckets cut it to 111-107 with 7:00 to go. Davis' free throws made it a two point game. Wisconsin pulled away late - Sterling Brown's slam made it 123-114 with 3:04 to go. Young got the friendly roll on the three, but Bird answered with a trey of his own. Down five in the final minute, a steal and Young lay-in put the game away for good.
The Red Claws shot 44% (41-94) from the field, and 33% from downtown (16-48). The Red Claws were 27-36 from the free throw line. Wisconsin shot 47% (44-94) from the floor, 33% (5-15) from beyond the arc, and 39-47 from the charity stripe.
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