Herd Posts Tenth Straight Win, Defeats Maine 123-118
PORTLAND, ME - The Wisconsin Herd (10-1), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, scored the final six points of the game and collected its 10th consecutive win with a 123-118 victory over the Maine Red Claws (7-3) on Thursday night inside Portland Expo Building.
Wisconsin tied its season-high as seven Herd players scored in double figures. Frank Mason led the way and tallied a team-high 25 points to go with seven rebounds and nine assists. For the third straight game, Jaylen Adams scored 20 or more points and posted a stat line of 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Milwaukee Bucks assignee, Dragan Bender, totaled 16 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Jemerrio Jones collected his third consecutive double-double and had 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Cameron Reynolds and Luke Maye registered 12 points apiece. Rayjon Tucker pitched in with 10 points, four rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Trey Davis led all players and recorded a game-high 26 points and made five three-pointers off the bench. Justin Bibbs collected 16 points in 33 minutes of action, while Boston Celtics assignee, Vincent Poirier, contributed with a near double-double and had 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three blocks. Four players (Yante Maten, Bryce Brown, Tremont Waters, John Bohannon) had 13 points each, and Kaiser Gates added eight points, eight rebounds, three assists and two blocks.
Thursday's contest not only featured two of the top four offenses in the G League, but it was highlighted by the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Wisconsin opened the game by making four of its first five shots from the field and jumped out to an early 10-0 lead. The run forced the Red Claws to spend a quick timeout, but following the stoppage, the Herd went on to add to its lead and scored the first 17 points of the ball game. Maine responded by scoring eight straight points of its own to cut the deficit to nine, but Wisconsin used an additional 10-0 spurt to go up 19 points, which was its largest lead of the night. The Herd's unconscious offensive effort resulted in 60% shooting from the field, and Wisconsin was led by Dragan Bender who shot 4-of-6 from the floor and led all players with 12 first quarter points. Conversely, the Herd limited the Red Claws to 9-of-25 shooting and led 38-28 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
Maine's comeback attempt began at the start of the second quarter and the Red Claws cut the Wisconsin lead to three after scoring nine of the first 11 points in the period. Minutes later, Maine pulled to within one and managed to tie the game at 44 on a three-pointer by Waters. The Red Claws tied the game at 47 and again at 55 before taking its first lead of the night on a long ball by Davis. Maine went on to lead by as many as six points in the frame and were sparked by Davis who poured in 20 points in the first half. The Herd tallied the final four points of the quarter, but the Red Claws outscored Wisconsin 37-25 and led by two at the intermission.
To start the third quarter, Maine posted the first four points and reupped its lead to six. The Red Claws extended its advantage to eight, and eventually grabbed a double-digit lead on a lob dunk from Gates to Bibbs. After trailing by 10 on a couple occasions, Wisconsin rattled off seven consecutive points and made it a one possession game with just over 30 seconds remaining in the quarter. With Maine leading by six, Shannon Bogues capped the period and nailed his first three-pointer of the season, which pulled the Herd to within three once more. In total, the Red Claws outpaced Wisconsin by one and led 95-92 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Davis posted the first points of the final period, but Maine used back-to-back baskets by Adams and Tucker to make it a two-point game. The Red Claws led by five with 6:40 left in the contest, but the Herd jumped back in front after Maye, Mason and Reynolds knocked in three consecutive three-pointers. The quarter featured two ties and three changes, but Jones gave Wisconsin the advantage for good as he stepped to the line and swished a pair of free throws that allowed the Herd to tie and take the lead with 53.8 seconds on the clock. Free throws by Jones and Mason and a big basket by Adams accounted for the final six points of the game, and Wisconsin won a close one, 123-118.
With the win, the Herd are now 6-1 (.857) all-time against Maine and are 5-0 against the Atlantic Division this year. Additionally, Wisconsin has secured a spot in the G League Showcase as one of the top four seeds. The Herd owns the longest current winning streak in the G League at 10 and remain undefeated on the road at 7-0.
The Herd return home this Saturday for a game against the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the NBA G League affiliate of the Houston Rockets. Tip-off inside Menominee Nation Arena is set for 7:00pm CT, and the game can be seen on MYNEW32 and heard on The Score.
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