Sluggish 2nd Quarter Sinks Maine
Bridgeport, CT - The Maine Celtics, presented by Unum, dug themselves into a big hole in the 2nd quarter and could not climb out of it, falling on the road to the Westchester Knicks, 126-99.
Maine (2-3) was led by Juwan Morgan with 22 points including 5-8 from three-point range. Jordan Burns, making his Celtics debut, led the bench with 17 points. Eric Demers added 13 points, while Chris Clemons scored 11 and Dazon Ingram added 10 points off the bench in the loss.
Westchester (2-4) was led by Jordan Allen, with 27 points on 9 made three-pointers. Aamir Simms recorded a 20 point-12 rebound double-double, while Brandon Williams also scored 20 in the win. Miles McBride added an impressive 16 point-16 assist performance as well.
Westchester jumped out to a fast lead, going on an early 8-2 run. Demers and the Celtics stopped the bleeding - Demers' three tied the game at 10. Morgan and Clemons hit back-to-back threes, as the Knicks and Celtics went back and forth. Westchester kept the pressure on, with Allen and Simms making back-to-back triples of their own. Westchester took a 34-23 lead after 1 period of play.
It would get worse for Maine in the 2nd period, as the Celtics went ice cold. Simms and the Knicks continued to pour it on offensively, and Maine meanwhile went 7:00 without scoring a point. The 12-0 Knicks run extended their lead to 55-27. Demers and Kornet finally stopped the run late in the period, but Westchester led 57-34 at the break. Maine was out-scored 23-11 in the 2nd quarter. Westchester shot 44% (22-50) from the field and 50% (9-18) from downtown. Maine meanwhile shot just 33% (13-40) from the floor and 24% (6-25) from three-point range.
Maine had no trouble scoring in the 3rd quarter. Morgan scored 7 consecutive points, including a 4-point play, to cut into the deficit. Miles McBride answered with a three of his own. Jordan Allen started to heat up from the outside, and he was just getting started. Jordan Burns, making his Maine Celtics debut, entered the game and scored 13 straight points for Maine, but the Celtics still trailed by 25 after 3, 96-71.
In the 4th, Allen heated up from outside. Approaching the Westchester franchise record for threes, Allen continued to fill it up off the bench. In the end, 9 made threes (9-15) ties a franchise record for most made threes by a Maine opponent. The Knicks shot an astounding 52% (23-44) from beyond the arc, and 48% (44-92) overall from the floor, while going 9-12 from the free throw line. Maine shot 44% (37-84) from the floor, 34% (15-44) from three-point range, and 6-9 from the charity stripe.
Maine returns home tomorrow night for a showdown with the Windy City Bulls before Saturday's rematch with Westchester at the Portland Expo.
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