Red Claws' Season Ends in Conference Finals
Mississauga, ON- The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, saw their most successful playoff run ever come to an end Wednesday night, falling to Raptors 905, 103-88. The 905 sweep the three game series, 2-0, winning the Eastern Conference and advancing to the NBA D-League Finals.
Demetrius Jackson, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, led Maine with 21 points on 8-10 shooting on the night, to go with 4 rebounds and 5 assists. Jalen Jones added a double-double with 11 points and 10 boards.
Raptors 905 was led by Brady Heslip, who scored 21 points on 6 three-pointers off the bench, including four in a 90 second span in the 2nd quarter that turned a one point game into a 20 point halftime lead.
The Red Claws started things off by scoring the first five points of the game, courtesy of Cameron Ayers and Jones. The 905 answered with a 7-0 run of their own. E.J. Singler's turnaround made it 13-8 Raptors 905 almost halfway through the quarter. A Singler tree and CJ Leslie putback made it 18-9. The Red Claws continued to struggle to score in the period, making only 4 of 17 shots in the 1st. At the end of 1, Maine trailed 23-11, shooting 23.5% and only 1-7 from downtown. Raptors 905 attempted 13 three's in the 1st, but made only 2.
Mickey opened the 2nd quarter with a baseline jumper, and Jones followed that up with a three-point play, as Maine started to chip away. Yabusele's lay-up and Jackson's ensuing steal and score cut it to six points at 28-22. Nader's driving lay-up cut it to three points, just 5:00 into the quarter. Jackson's monster slam cut it to 35-34, but the 905 answered with five quick points. The 905 got it right back to 10 points, and Brady Heslip's three made it 50-34 with 1:05 to go. Heslip caught fire, making five three's in the first half, and the 905 went on a 19-0 run, taking a 56-36 lead into the break.
In the 3rd, Nader dropped in a corner three to get the Red Claws rolling. Jackson's three made it a 15 point game. Mickey's spinning shot got it to 59-46. Ayers' three-ball cut it to 64-51. But Singler hit a big corner three to right the ship for the 905. Raptors 905 took a 74-53 lead with 3:00 to go in the quarter. Maine cut it to 77-63 after three.
Mickey opened the 4th with a tough back shot to get it to 12 points. Jackson's three-pointer made it an 83-73 game with 7:25 to go, but Heslip once again got open beyond the arc, draining a three to put the 905 back up 15 with 6:26 to go. Nader scored five straight for Maine to get it to 90-78. The Red Claws could get no closer, as Bruno Coboclo and Yanick Moreira put the game away late.
The Red Claws shot 42.7% (32-75) from the floor, 36.4% (12-33) from downtown, and 12-18 from the free throw line. Raptors 905 shot 46.6% (41-88) from the field, 40% (14-35) from beyond the arc, and 7-14 from the charity stripe.
Raptors 905 will play the winner of Oklahoma City and Rio Grande Valley in the D-League Finals.
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