Hot Start Not Enough for Drive
GRAND RAPIDS, MI - The Drive set the pace early on Saturday night after a hot start had them jump out to a one-time 22-point lead but the Raptors 905 slowly clawed back in a back-and-forth fourth quarter and topped Grand Rapids with a final score of 117-113. The two teams shot nearly identical from the field as Grand Rapids connected on 43-92 shooting from the floor (47%) and 14-33 from beyond the arch (42%) while 905 finished the night on 41-93 from the field (44%) and 15-33 from deep (45%). 905's advantage at the charity stripe was huge as they went 13-15 from the free-throw line compared to just 8-16 for Grand Rapids.
Toronto two-way player Shamorie Ponds commanded 905's offense by racking up a team-high 21 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 3 steals. Other Raptors in double digits were Matt Morgan (16 points, 5 rebounds & 3 assists), Devin Robinson (15 points, 5 rebounds & 3 blocks), Sagaba Konate (14 points & 4 rebounds), Paul Watson (13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 steals) and Nicholas Baer (12 points, 3 rebounds & 2 blocks).
Drive big man Donta Hall led the team with another strong double-double, earning 24 points, 12 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks, while shooting 8-11 from the field. Pistons two-way player Jordan Bone was one assist shy from a double-double, adding 17 points and 9 assists on the night. Todd Withers had another effective performance for the team by shooting 6-11 from the field and 4-8 from the beyond the 3-point line, tallying up 16 points along with 5 rebounds and 3 blocks. Guard Tra-Deon Hollins added a second team double-double with 11 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds and 3 steals. Other Drive players in double figures were Devon Baulkman (14 points & 4 rebounds) and Craig Sword (11 points, 5 rebounds & 3 steals).
The Drive picked up the momentum behind a packed home crowd after trailing by 5 late in the fourth, but the home team ended up on the wrong side of a foul call that resulted in 905 knocking down crucial free throws to extend the lead to 4.
Raptors 905 will head home to Mississauga to host the Erie BayHawks on January 6. The Drive will stay home in GR and get ready to take on the Long Island Nets on January 8.
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