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 Maine Celtics

Maine Celtics Hang on to Defeat Swarm

March 17, 2024 - NBA G League (G League)
Maine Celtics News Release

PORTLAND, ME - The Maine Celtics bounced back from a streak-snapping loss last time out, storming out of the gates to take a 23-point halftime lead and hanging on down the stretch for a 106-101 victory over the Greensboro Swarm.

JD Davison led Maine (18-12) with 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists. DJ Steward notched 24 points, his eighth consecutive game with 20-plus points, adding six assists. Drew Peterson logged 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists. Jordan Walsh and James Banks III tallied eight points and eight rebounds apiece.

R.J. Hunter put up 22 points and five assists to lead Greensboro (14-16). Marcus Garrett and Jaylen Sims each added 14 points, and Jeremiah Tilmon posted 14 points and nine rebounds. Kent Bazemore chipped in 16 points.

Maine forced a shot clock violation on the game's opening possession, then Walsh canned a left wing three to break the ice soon after. Hunter and Marques Bolden each drilled a three of their own from above the break, but it wasn't long Maine went back in front with a triple from Tony Snell that knotted it up at eight. From there, the Celtics went on a 9-2 run that handed them a 17-10 advantage. Maine's point guards carried them through the first offensively; Steward and Davison combined for 11 points and four assists, scoring or assisting on all but three of Maine's first-quarter field goals as the Celtics took a 28-18 lead into the second quarter.

The Celtics pushed the lead into double digits as the second quarter opened. Steward hit a 13-footer and then found Kylor Kelley for a pair of easy finishes, quickly stretching the lead to 15-points, 36-21 just after the nine-minute mark. Snell and Peterson each knocked down a three after that to extend Maine's lead even further - the Celtics came out of the gates highly energized after some much-needed off days, and eclipsed Thursday's six made 3-pointers within the first half this afternoon. The Swarm got within 20 a few times but after a strong close to the frame, Maine led 58-35 at the break. The Celtics limited Greensboro to just 29.7% shooting in the first two quarters.

Maine kept the pressure on to open the second half, as Davison's effortless lane penetration, rebounding and up-tempo pace single-handedly bent Greensboro's defense. It didn't take long for the Swarm to fire back, though, ripping off a 10-4 run that trimmed the deficit to 17, 77-60. With the veterans Bazemore and Hunter leading the charge, the Swarm added six more unanswered points to end the quarter. After leading by as many as 23 in the third, the Celtics went into the fourth quarter leading by 11, 77-66. Greensboro outscored Maine 31-19 in the third.

Tilmon converted an and-one to open the third and bring the Swarm within single digits, and Brown finished a three-point play of his own, all part of a 14-0 run from Greensboro spanning the late-third and early-fourth. Peterson flew off a screen and buried a three on back-to-back trips, coming through when Maine needed it to stretch the lead back to three possessions. It wasn't long before Maine's lead was up to a dozen again, but the Swarm refused to go quietly - Hunter's and-one slimmed the deficit to seven points, and though Davison helped Maine get the lead back to a dozen, Greensboro cut it to six in the final two minutes with the help of some costly fouls from Maine. With the Celtics ahead 100-94 and just under two minutes remaining, Steward put back a miss, the Swarm were assessed a pair of technical fouls, and Maine closed it out from there despite Greensboro's best effort.

The Celtics are off during the beginning of next week before hosting the Westchester Knicks on Thursday, March 21 at 7:00 PM.

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