Maine Celtics Bounce Back, Blow out Bulls
PORTLAND, ME - The Maine Celtics, presented by Unum, bounced back from a blowout loss at the hands of the Westchester Knicks to cruise past the Windy City Bulls, 111-97.
Brodric Thomas led the Celtics with 21 points, four rebounds and five assists. Luke Kornet followed with 19 points on 8-12 shooting. Deonte Burton put up 16 points and eight rebounds while Chris Clemons had 16 points and five assists. Juwan Morgan finished with 14 points, five rebounds and four assists and Sam Hauser had 10 points and seven rebounds. John Bohannan tallied four points and collected 15 rebounds.
It took nearly two minutes for Marko Simonović to score the game's first points. Morgan buried a triple for Maine's first bucket, and Thomas followed with another soon after. Eric Demers found Kornet for a rim-rattling dunk. Daniel Oturu's and-one brought Windy City within one with a chance to tie, but Clemons went on a 5-0 solo run to stretch the Celtics' lead. Scottie Lindsay tied it back up with his own and-one. Maine led 33-29 after one, with Clemons and Kornet each scoring eight points in the quarter.
Hauser's three opened the second-quarter scoring. Burton finished through contact to give the Celtics a 43-37 advantage nearly four minutes into the quarter. Kerwin Roach made it 45-45 with a long-range bomb but Demers responded from deep on the ensuing possession. Kornet threw it down on back-to-back possessions to swing the momentum towards Maine. A 14-5 run sent the Celtics into the locker room with a 62-50 lead. Maine shot 23-42 (54.8 percent) from the floor, 9-21 (42.9 percent) from downtown and 4-6 (66.7 percent) at the stripe in the first half. Windy City shot 21-48 (43.8 percent) from the floor, 6-16 (37.5 percent) from downtown and 1-5 (20 percent) at the stripe.
Thomas made his fourth trip to the free throw line to begin the second half. Morgan scored seven points in the first three-and-a-half minutes, propelling Maine to a dominant quarter. The Celtics went on a 35-18 run dating back to the second quarter, but only outscored the Bulls 30-21 in the third thanks to strong finish by Windy City. Maine led 92-71 heading into the final frame.
The Celtics kept the pressure on to start the fourth, leading 96-71 with just over 10 minutes to go. Maine controlled the pace from there on out, as they had been for most of the night. A near-20-point cushion held strong behind a couple of late-game buckets from Burton, and the Celtics cruised to victory. Maine finished 39-88 (44.3 percent) from the floor, 15-45 from range (33.3 percent) and 10-17 (58.8 percent) at the line. Windy City shot 36-82 (43.9 percent) from the floor, 11-34 (32.4 percent) from range and 8-16 (50 percent) at the line.
The Maine Celtics will host the Westchester Knicks at The Expo on Jan. 22. Following a three-game road trip, the Celtics return to Portland and face the Grand Rapids Gold on Feb. 4.
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