Red Claws Fall to Drive
Portland, ME - The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, battled Grand Rapids in a back-and-forth game that saw 29 lead changes, but fell to the Drive Friday night, 102-101 at the Portland Expo.
Maine (28-12) was led by Bryce Brown with 26 points. Vincent Poirier, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds in his 3rd game with the Red Claws and first since December. Yante Maten added 18 points including a late dunk that put Maine up one. Justin Bibbs added 10 points in his return to the court.
Grand Rapids (25-16) was led by Detroit Pistons assignee Sekou Doumbouya with 30 points, including the game-winner in the final seconds. Two-Way Player Jordan Bone finished with 17 points in the win.
Bibbs, playing in his first game since Jan. 24, opened the scoring with a three. Sekou Doumbouya, on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, scored early and often, scoring 6 of Grand Rapids first 13 points. The Drive took an early 5 point lead. Waters fed Poirier for the slam off an inbounds play, giving Maine a 17-15 lead. Brown buried a three to help put Maine up 4. The Red Claws led 27-23 after 1.
In the 2nd, Doumbouya's three-point play cut the Drive deficit to 1. Donta Hall's big slam put Grand Rapids up 34-31. The Drive extended to a 5 point lead. Poirier took advantage on the inside, scoring 4 quick points. Poirier lit up the paint with back-to-back dunks late in the period, giving Maine the lead back. The Red Claws led 53-49 at the break. Brown and Poirier each scored 12 in the first half, while Doumbouya led all scorers with 16 points.
Bibbs opened the 3rd with a driving bank shot to put Maine up 6. Craig Sword and the Drive quickly answered with an 8-0 run. Sword's bucket forced a timeout and gave Grand Rapids a 59-57 lead. Poirier's driving dunk put the Claws back up at 64-63. The two teams would go back-and-forth the rest of the period, with Brown hitting a corner three late to pull within 1. Poirier's free throw gave Maine a 73-72 lead. The Red Claws led 75-72 after 3.
In the 4th, Louis King's alley-oop put Grand Rapids up 4. Tra-Deon Hollins' steal and lay-up put the Drive up 81-75. The Red Claws scored 6 straight points to tie the game. Bibbs' triple forced a timeout and gave Maine a 84-81 lead. Dakarai Allen hit a big three to tie the game at 86. Waters drained a three to put the Claws up 1. Brown hit a huge three to give Maine the lead, but Sword's athletic offensive board and put-back tied the game at 94. Brown hit another three to put Maine up 99-98 with 1:10 to go. Hall's big dunk put Grand Rapids up 1 with 1:00 to go. Maten's monster slam put Maine up 101-100 in the final seconds. Doumbouya hit a big two to put the Drive up 102-101. That proved to be the game-winner.
Maine wound up shooting 45.8% (38-83) from the field, 28.6% (12-42) from three-point range, and 6-8 from the free throw line. Grand Rapids shot 40.2% (37-92) from the floor, 17.9% (5-28) from downtown, and 12-15 from the free throw line.
The Red Claws return to action Sunday afternoon vs. Windy City.
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