Drive Win on Thornton's Game-Winning Layup
DES MOINES - Marcus Thornton brought back memories of his first game with the Grand Rapids Drive this 2018-19 season by making the game-winning layup with five seconds remaining as the Drive (11-13) defeated the Iowa Wolves (9-17) by a 110-108 final on the road Sunday afternoon. Thornton finished with 32 points, scoring over 30 points for the second game in a row. He is the first Drive player with two consecutive 30-point games this year.
The Wolves worked to a 12-point lead early and held a seven-point advantage heading into the fourth quarter, but the Drive were able to rally. Iowa called timeout after Thornton's go-ahead bucket and set up Darius Johnson-Odom for a potential game-winning three, but it was off the mark, making the Drive the team to earn their second win in a row.
In addition to the 32 points from Thornton, Johnny Hamilton scored 15 points and recorded a season-high 15 rebounds. Hamilton and Henry Ellenson now have both had two 15-rebound games for Grand Rapids. Speedy Smith was second on the team in scoring with his 16 points and Michael Bethea Jr. chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds as well.
Johnson-Odom scored half of his 22 points in the fourth quarter to lead Iowa. William Lee was a factor on both ends with his 17 points and 15 rebounds (knocking down three of his five three-point attempts), and Hakim Warrick also recorded a double-double for the home team with 18 points and 11 boards.
Both teams relied heavily on the foul line for offense as neither had their best day shooting from the floor. The Wolves shot a higher percentage from deep than they did overall, but only 30 of their 91 field goal attempts were three-pointers. The two teams combined for a whopping 70 free throw attempts, with Hamilton the biggest benefactor for the Drive (9-of-10 from the line) and Warrick for the Wolves (hitting all eight of his attempts).
Thornton, opposite the trends of most of the other players, only shot two free throws all night despite scoring 10 more points than any other player. He compensated by going 13-of-23 from the floor and 5-of-10 from three-point range.
The Drive are in action again for a morning matchup with the Long Island Nets on Wednesday. The Wolves' next game will also be on Wednesday as the travel to play the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
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