Devin Ebanks Scores 32 as Grand Rapids Holds off Idaho, 99-96
BOISE, Idaho - Devin Ebanks was clutch when his team needed him most.
The Grand Rapids Drive forward drained a 3-pointer with the shot clock expiring with 2 minutes to go in the game and Grand Rapids held on to beat the Idaho Stampede 99-96 at the CenturyLink Arena in front of 2,797 fans on Friday night.
Grand Rapids, the affiliate of the Detroit Pistons, snaps a two-game losing streak and improves to 16-16.
Ebanks, who finished with a game-high 32 points, had a sheepish smile after draining the eventual game-winner.
" You can see Dean Cooper smack his hands together (in frustration), " Stampede TV announcer Mark Snider said of the Idaho coach. " That could be the killer (shot) with two minutes to go in the game. "
Idaho center Tibor Pleiss dunked off an in-bounds play with 7.1 seconds left in the game to cut the lead to 97-96. But Gary Talton drained two free-throws for the Drive to seal it.
Ebanks, a 6-foot-9 forward out of West Virginia, was 11-of-19 from the field and also had 8 rebounds, 4 steals and 3 assists. Talton had a season-high 23 points and six assists for the Drive. He was followed by Kam Holsey with 15 points and six rebounds and Kelsey Barlow with 13.
The Stampede scored seven-straight times in the third quarter and Barlow had seen enough. With Grand Rapids trailing by four points late in the quarter - 73-69 - the Drive guard scored the next 10 points. He drained a jumper and then hit back-to-back 3-pointers to give his team the lead.
Dahntay Jones had a nice no-look pass to Holsey, who was driving to the lane and dunked it with authority to give the Drive an 83-81 lead in the fourth quarter.
Barlow drained a 3-pointer to cap a 22-7 run by the Drive in the first half. Ebanks had 17 points at the break as Grand Rapids led 52-44. The 44 points are the second fewest the team has allowed in a half this season. Jeremy Williams hit a 3-pointer early in the game and then Idaho proceeded to miss its next 15 threes in a row.
J.J. O ' Brien led Idaho (13-23) with 20 points. Former Drive guard Brandon Fields had 10 points and four assists. Fields averaged 14.1 points in 32 games with Grand Rapids last season, his first in the D-League.
Grand Rapids returns home Monday to play the Maine Red Claws for a 7 p.m. contest at the DeltaPlex Arena.
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