Portland, ME – The Maine Red Claws had a star-studded lineup, Friday, and rolled to a 102-93 win over Raptors 905 at the Portland Expo.
The Red Claws (7-3) had both Abdel Nader and Guerschon Yabusele on assignment from the Boston Celtics. Nader led all scorers with 19 points and 3 rebounds. Yabusele added 16 points, 5 boards and 3 assists. Celtics two-way Players Kadeem Allen (17 points, six rebounds, six assists) and Jabari Bird (18 points, six rebounds, three assists) also contributed in the win over the 905 (4-6). Andrew White added 13 points on 4-6 shooting off the bench.
Bird opened up the scoring with a corner three-ball in the opening minutes. Yabusele followed that up with a pair of treys, and Nader added a triple of his own – Maine made four of its first five threes and took a 12-11 lead. The hot shooting from outside continued, as Maine’s first seven made field goals were all from beyond the arc. Andrew White added a pair of three’s – Maine made seven of 12 from downtown in the first quarter, taking a 28-22 lead after one.
In the second, Bird took over, scoring nine straight points for the Red Claws – Maine’s lead extended to 40-30 halfway through the period. Daniel Dixon nailed a corner three to extend the lead to 11. Bird’s electric reverse jam in traffic made it 45-34 Red Claws. Maine finally got to the free throw line for the first time in the game in the final minutes of the second, making 5 of 6 attempts. When the dust settled on the half, Maine held a 50-42 lead. The Red Claws shot 17-39 from the field (43.6 percent) in the first half, and 11-23 (47.8 percent) from downtown. Raptors 905 shot just 33.3 percent (15-45) in the half, and 20 percent (4-20) from three.
Yabusele opened the third quarter with a monster slam to put the Red Claws up 10. Nader hit a tough jump shot and then a pair of free throws to put Maine up 58-46. Yabusele’s cross-over hoop and the foul made it 65-54 Red Claws. Allen’s driving reverse was followed up by former Red Claw Davion Berry burying a triple for the 905. Devin Williams made his presence known on both sides of the floor in the third, but Raptors 905 cut into the Red Claws’ lead – at the end of three, Maine’s lead was 75-67.
In the fourth, Allen rocked the rim with a right handed slam to put the Claws up 12 – then off a block, Allen buried a three to make it 82-67. The Red Claws started the quarter on a 7-0 run. Allen lit up the scoreboard in the fourth quarter, throwing in another big dunk. Nader buried a three with 7:00 to go, and Maine extended to an 87-74 lead. The 905 weren’t done – Berry’s driving three-point play cut it to 89-82. The 905 cut it to four – but Nader buried a big three-pointer to right the ship. Allen and Nader’s free throws put the game away.
Maine shot 43.4 percent (33-76) from the floor and 40.5 percent (15-37) from downtown, while going 21-24 from the free throw line. Raptors 905 shot 32.6 percent (28-86), and just 20 percent (7-35) from beyond the arc, and 30-36 from the charity stripe.