Drive Surge Late to Beat Red Claws
PORTLAND - The Grand Rapids Drive (22-20) rallied late to defeat the Maine Red Claws (17-24) on the road Sunday afternoon by a 102-97 final. The Drive picked up their third straight victory and ninth win in their last 11 games as they continue to fight for a playoff spot.
Marcus Thornton had another outstanding game to lead the Drive, scoring 42 points on 15-25 shooting from the floor including five threes. Thornton established a new season best for scoring by a Drive player and led the team in scoring for the sixth consecutive game. Isaiah Whitehead added 19 points and four steals and Todd Withers and Shep Garner were the other Drive players in double figures with 11 points each. Speedy Smith also posted nine assists and Adam Woodbury collected 12 boards.
Andrew White III's 24 points were the high mark for the Red Claws and PJ Dozier had 23 points and 13 rebounds. RJ Hunter added 16 points, Sheldon Jeter scored 15 and John Bohannan posted a team-high 14 rebounds and 12 assists.
Grand Rapids made its move late, overcoming a 10-point halftime deficit as well as into the fourth quarter. Consecutive Thornton three- pointers gave them a 95-94 lead late that they were able to hang onto.
The Red Claws outrebounded the Drive 58-47 and shot 10 percent better from three, but the Drive forced 20 turnovers and surrendered just 10.
The Drive's road trip continues on Friday night against the Erie BayHawks, while the Red Claws will host the Iowa Energy on Thursday night for their next contest.
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