Red Claws Can't Hold Lead over Drive
Portland, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, had a double-digit lead in the second half but couldn't close the game, falling to Marcus Thornton and the Grand Rapids Drive Sunday, 102-97.
Maine (17-24) was led by a two-headed attack by Andrew White and P.J. Dozier. White finished with 24 points, leading Maine in scoring for a second straight game. Dozier finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and 5 assists, while R.J. Hunter added 16 points and 6 boards. Sheldon Jeter scored 15 points to lead the bench, while Justin Bibbs added 10. John Bohannon was once again near a triple-double with 5 points, 14 rebounds and 12 assists.
Grand Rapids (22-20) got a prolific performance by Marcus Thornton, who finished with 42 points on 15-25 shooting, including 5-12 from three-point range.
The Red Claws started out scoring 6 quick points, with Bohannon assisting Bibbs on a corner three. White buried a three to put Maine up 5, following up with a fast-break lay-up. Dozier's triple put the Claws up 16-6. The Drive would get it back to 3, and Johnny Hamilton's slam cutting it to 23-22. The Red Claws led 25-24 after 1.
Grand Rapids took the lead in the 2nd on a Michael Bethea three. Bohannon answered with a three-point play. Hunter's lay-up put Maine up 2, and he followed that up with a deep three. Dozier assisted White on a three, and Maine extended the lead back to 11 at 41-30. Dozier set up Sheldon Jeter for a lay-up, but Isaiah Whitehead answered the other way for Grand Rapids. Jeter's three made it 52-42, which was the score at the half. Maine shot 43.5% (20-46) in the first half, while Grand Rapids shot just 31.2% (15-48).
Dozier opened the 3rd with a driving dunk. Grand Rapids opened the quarter on a 9-4 run, with Thornton's lay-up cutting the deficit to 5. Justin Bibbs stopped the run with a corner three. Bibbs followed that up with two more buckets. Thornton continued his hot shooting, keeping the Drive in the game. Whitehead's drive cut it to 2. Jeter's three late in the quarter helped give Maine a 75-71 lead after 3.
In the 4th, Dozier opened the scoring with a steal and lay-in. The Red Claws opened the period on a 7-0 run, and White's three extended the run to 11-0 and an 86-71 lead. Hunter hit a deep three to make it 91-78 Claws. Grand Rapids would not go away, Dakari Allen cut it to 92-85. Todd Withers got it to 5 points at the free throw line, and Thornton made it 92-89 with a lay-up. Thornton banked in a three to make it 94-92 Maine with 2:00 to go. Thornton then buried a contested three to give Grand Rapids a 95-94 lead. Withers extended to 4 points with a three, but Hunter answered with a big three to cut it to 1. Maine would not get any closer as the Drive put it away at the free throw line.
Maine finished shooting 39.4% (37-94) from the field, 40% (16-40) from three-point range, and 7-13 from the free throw line.. Grand Rapids shot 37.6% (35-93) from the floor, 30% (12-40) from downtown, and 20-29 from the charity stripe.
The Red Claws return to action Thursday night against Iowa at the Expo. Tickets are on sale by calling 207-210-6655 or visiting MaineRedClaws.com.
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