PORTLAND, Maine – The Los Angeles D-Fenders defeated the Maine Red Claws on Saturday, 119-111, at the Portland Expo Building. The trio of Vander Blue, Justin Harper and Josh Magette sparked the win by scoring a combined 69 points.
Blue recorded a new season and team high with 31 points. Harper added 19 points and a season-best 15 rebounds for his sixth double-double, while Magette contributed a balanced line of 19 points, nine assists and six rebounds. Guard Troy DeVries also totaled 10 points.
Maine (9-5) was led by 23 points from Boston Celtics assignee Demetrius Jackson, while Damion Lee and Abdel Nader contributed 22 points and 21 points, respectively.
A back-and-forth first quarter included 10 lead changes, but Los Angeles used a 56.5 percent clip in the period to pull away. Blue and Harper each scored seven points as the D-Fenders took a 35-29 lead into the second. Once there, the scoring slowed as the two teams seemingly traded buckets. Consecutive baskets to end the quarter – first a layup by Blue with 2.5 seconds to go, followed by a steal-turned-layup by Speedy Smith – gave LA four points in less than three seconds, sending the D-Fenders to the locker room with a 60-49 halftime lead.
Los Angeles (10-4) won the third quarter, 29-27, thanks in part to 10 points from Blue in the period. Down 89-76, Maine would need to come back from a 13-point deficit in the final 12 minutes. But, behind 11 points from Jackson and 10 points from Lee in the fourth quarter, the Red Claws got the chances they needed.
Maine put together two huge runs – the first a 9-0 advantage with 10:37 remaining, with the second being an 11-0 run with just over eight minutes left. But Los Angeles answered in the last six minutes, outscoring Maine 12-1 to go up 115-103 with less than three minutes to play. Blue scored 11 in the fourth (and 21 in the second half) to seal the win.
Overall, Los Angeles went 44-of-90 (.489) from the field to win the percentage battle, while also enjoying a slight 52-49 advantage in rebounding, Maine would finish with a 39.1 percent clip on the day.