GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Maine Red Claws used a strong 4th quarter to come away with a big road victory and snap their losing streak, defeating the Grand Rapids Drive, 97-90.
Playing with only 8 players, the Red Claws were without both Boston Celtics two-way Players Kadeem Allen and Jabari Bird, who had been transferred to Boston. Maine (11-10) was led by L.J. Peak with 24 points off the bench. Trey Davis added 19 points, while Daniel Dixon scored 15 for the Claws. Devin Williams posted another double-double with 13 points and 17 rebounds. Andrew White added 13 points, and Drew Barham tallied 10 points off the bench in the win.
Grand Rapids (11-11) was led by K.J. McDaniels with 22 points.
Neither team scored for over two minutes in the 1st quarter; Trey Davis’ lay-in broke the scoreless tie. Davis added a three-point play to make it 8-6 Claws 5:00 into the game. Andrew White, fresh off a 41-point performance, buried a triple to maintain the lead, but the Drive answered with a Derek Willis three. Daniel Dixon scored back-to-back lay-ups to extend the lead for Maine, and scored 7 points in the 1st quarter alone. The Red Claws took a 21-20 lead after a low-scoring period.
In the 2nd, Peak hit a corner three to put the Claws up 5, and Devin Williams extended the lead to 29-22 with a baby hook from the low block. The Red Claws opened the 2nd quarter on a 9-2 run. The Drive’s Zeke Upshaw stopped the bleeding with a corner three of his own, but Peak responded with another lay-up. Grand Rapids closed out the half with 5 straight points to take a 41-40 lead. Davis’ free throw in the final second tied the game at 41-41 going into the break. Peak led all scorers with 13 points in the first half, as Maine shot 36% (15-42) from the floor and just 27% (4-15) from downtown. Grand Rapids shot 30% (14-46) from the field and 24% (5-21) from three-point range.
The Red Claws opened the 3rd quarter with 5 quick points, including a Dixon three. The Drive answered with 9 straight to take a 50-46 lead, when NBA veteran Marcus Thornton put in a baby hook. White stopped the bleeding with a three of his own. Josh Adeyeye’s three cut it to 57-52 Drive. Drew Barham scored 5 straight points to cut the lead to 67-65. A Drive three-pointer would give Grand Rapids a 70-65 lead after 3 quarters of play.
In the 4th, Maine cut the lead to 3, but Speedy Smith’s steal and score made it 74-69 Drive. Peak’s slam made it 76-74. Williams made it a 1 point game on a tough hook shot. Davis’ driving lay-up tied the game at 78-78. Off a Williams steal, Dixon drove and scored to give Maine an 82-80 lead. Peak’s three-point play put Maine up 85-82, and Peak’s lay-up on the ensuing possession was goaltended, giving the Claws a 5 point lead. Grand Rapids would come back – Thornton’s driving lay-in cut it to 2. Peak had the answer yet again with a strong drive off the glass. Dixon knocked in a huge 3 in the final minute, and the Red Claws made their free throws down the stretch to seal a huge victory.
Maine shot 44% (36-82) from the field in the game, and 32% (9-28) from downtown, while going 16-19 from the free throw line. Grand Rapids shot 37% (34-93) from the floor, 18 % (6-33) from deep, and 16-22 from the charity stripe.