Drive Rally from 18 Down to Hand 905 First Road Loss
GRAND RAPIDS - Feb 4, 2017 - The Grand Rapids Drive (16-16) overcame an 18-point third-quarter deficit to defeat Raptors 905 (22-8) on Saturday night at home by a 122-115 final. The Drive won their fourth game in a row, snapping the 905's league-high 10-game winning streak.
The Drive also ended the 905's incredible undefeated road record. They fall to 11-1 away from Ontario this year.
Henry Ellenson and Kevin Murphy hit back-to-back clutch threes with under a minute remaining after the score was tied at 109 to give Grand Rapids the late lead. Brady Heslip followed up Murphy's three with a long gun of his own to cut the lead to three, but Edy Tavares committed a flagrant two on Ellenson when the 905 were forced to foul and Ellenson hit the free throws to seal it.
Ellenson, playing on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, finished with 25 points and seven rebounds. Michael Gbinije, also on assignment, had his best game in a Drive uniform. He had 29 points, nine rebounds, and made five three-pointers. Murphy added 25 points and seven rebounds and Jordan Crawford had 17 points.
The 905 employed their typical balanced scoring attack. 10 players found the score sheet, with five in double figures. Axel Toupane led the way off the bench with 25 points, Brady Heslip had 22 points and seven assists with six three-pointers, and E.J. Singler had 14 points and 10 rebounds.
The 905 were able to gain their first sizable lead midway through the first quarter when they went up by eight points. They ended the first quarter up 31-24, and stretched the lead to 12 in the second quarter. But the Drive were able to move the score to 65-60 in favor of the 905 at halftime.
The away team was shot out of a cannon to start the second half, as they scored the first 11 points of the second half and ballooned their lead to a game-high 18 shortly after. It took a 17-3 run by the Drive late in the third to get back into the game, as they were within three entering the fourth. From there, the fourth-quarter heroics of Ellenson and Murphy lifted the Drive to the win.
It was a fast-paced and entertaining game, as both teams shot over 43 percent from three-point land, the 905 piled up 28 assists, and the Drive hit the glass against a larger, lengthier Raptors roster for 14 offensive rebounds. Uncharacteristically, the Drive held the advantage in points in the paint, 42 to 34.
Grand Rapids is next in action on the road on Feb. 7 against the Windy City Bulls, and then they take on Greensboro at home the next day. Raptors 905 will play the Mad Ants in Fort Wayne on Feb. 7 for their next action.
• Discuss this story on the NBA G League message board...
NBA G League Stories from February 4, 2017
- Warriors Drop Road Contest to the Suns - Santa Cruz Warriors
- SKYFORCE OVERPOWERS THE LEGENDS - Texas Legends
- Skyforce Overpowers the Legends - Texas Legends
- D-Fenders Downed in Oklahoma City - Los Angeles D-Fenders
- Red Claws Survive Sevens in OT - Maine Red Claws
- BayHawks Outlast Charge - Erie BayHawks
- Drive Rally from 18 Down to Hand 905 First Road Loss - Grand Rapids Drive
- Game Notes: at Texas Legends - Sioux Falls Skyforce
- Westchester Knicks Run Down by Windy City Bulls - Westchester Knicks
- Chicago Bulls Recall Denzel Valentine - Windy City Bulls
- Kings Recall Papagiannis from Reno Bighorns - Reno Bighorns
- Warriors Sign Briante Weber to 10-Day Contract - Sioux Falls Skyforce
- Boston Celtics Assign Jordan Mickey to Maine Red Claws - Maine Red Claws
- Denzel Valentine Leads Windy City Past Westchester in OT Thriller - Windy City Bulls
- Warriors Defeat Iowa, Notching Hill's 100th Career Win - Santa Cruz Warriors
- Energy Test Warriors Resiliency, Drop Contest - Iowa Wolves
- Bighorns Fall to the Stars - Reno Bighorns
- Legends Snap Streak with Big Win over Blue - Texas Legends
- Austin Spurs Slips Away from the Vipers - Rio Grande Valley Vipers
- Westchester Knicks Knocked Back by Windy City Bulls in Overtime - Westchester Knicks
The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.