Blue Run Past Red Claws
Portland, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, shot the ball poorly in the first half and could not overcome the deficit, falling to the Oklahoma City Blue Thursday night, 108-96.
Maine (4-9) was led by Vitto Brown with 20 points and 6 rebounds. Two-Way Player P.J. Dozier scored 18 points and added 7 assists in the loss, while Justin Bibbs, Nick King and Quenton DeCosey each scored 10 points off the bench.
Oklahoma City (10-2) had 6 players in double-digits scoring, led by Bryce Alford with 22 points.
Dallas Lauderdale started the scoring with a driving dunk assisted by Dozier. The two teams traded buckets in the early minutes, with the Blue taking a 14-11 lead on a Justin Leon three. Bryce Alford extended the lead to 5 with a driving lay-up, and former Red Claw Chris Wright made it 22-15 with a lay-up of his own. The lead surged to 9 before Roberson stopped the run. Oklahoma City led Maine 33-23 after 1 quarter of play.
In the 2nd, the Blue picked up right where they left off, with Richard Solomon slamming home an alley-oop. The shooting woes continued for Maine, while OKC couldn't miss, making 5 of it is first 9 from downtown. The Red Claws, meanwhile, were 1-18 from beyond the arc. Bibbs got to the line on a flagrant one foul, followed by a Nick King and-one play, cutting the deficit to 51-37. Jeter's three on an offensive rebound stopped the drought and capped a rare 7 point possession. At the half, Maine trailed 54-40. The Red Claws shot just 28.3% (13-46) from the field, and 9.5% (2-21) from three. Oklahoma City shot 52.6% (20-38) from the floor in the first half.
The Blue picked up right where they left off in the second half, with former Red Claw Abdul Gaddy draining a three. Dozier and Brown got the Claw offense going with two quick buckets. Alford silenced the run with back-to-back deep threes. OKC extended to a 21 point lead before King's slam stopped the run. Brown tried to keep the offensive hopes alive, but Maine trailed 92-66 after 3.
In the 4th, the Red Claws went on a run, scoring 9 quick points to OKC's 2, with Quenton DeCosey scoring twice. Brown's bank shot got it to 15, and Bibbs' euro step made it 98-85. Brown's jumper cut it to 11. Back-to-back turnovers for Maine gave momentum back to the Blue. Maine would out-score Oklahoma City 30-16 in the 4th, but could not get closer than 11 points.
The Red Claws shot 37.4% (34-91) from the field and just 20.9% (9-43) from three-point range and 19-26 from the free throw line. Oklahoma City shot 54.8% (40-73) from the floor, 48% (12-25) from deep, and 16-23 from the charity stripe.
The Red Claws return to action Saturday at Wisconsin. Maine returns home next Friday, Dec. 14th against Wisconsin. Tickets are on sale now by calling 207-210-6655 or visiting MaineRedClaws.com.
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