PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, had a big lead but got blown out in the second half, falling to Fort Wayne, 122-103.
Maine (16-20) was led by Boston Celtics assignee Guerschon Yabusele with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Anthony Bennett added 21 points and 13 boards in the loss, and Celtics Two-Way Player Kadeem Allen scored 23 points and added 5 assists. Drew Barham added 12 points for the Red Claws.
Fort Wayne (21-15) was led by a huge performance by Walter Lemon, Jr., who finished with 40 points on 16-31 shooting. DeQuan Jones added 27 points, while Jarrod Uthoff scored 18 in the win.
Yabusele started the scoring with a thunderous dunk. Allen followed that up with a lay-up of his own. Yabusele then dropped in a three to put Maine up 7-0 just 3:30 into the game. Barham drained a three to make it 14-1 Maine and forcing a Mad Ants timeout. Fort Wayne scored 6 straight points before Yabusele dropped in another three. Yabusele scored 10 points in the 1st quarter, helping the Red Claws to a 32-16 lead.
Davis opened the 2nd quarter with a quick bucket. After back-to-back defensive lapses by the Red Claws, Maine’s lead was 41-24. Jarrod Uthoff buried a three to get the Fort Wayne deficit back to 13. Yabusele continued to pour it in from the low post, but left the game after pickup up his 3rd foul. Trey McKinney-Jones buried a three to cut the Mad Ants’ deficit to 51-43. Fort Wayne out-scored Maine 38-24 in the 2nd quarter, and DeQuan Jones’ corner three made it 56-54 Red Claws at the half. Fort Wayne shot an astounding 72.7% (16-22) from the field in the 2nd quarter.
Yabusele opened the 3rd quarter with a driving lay-up, followed by another Barham trey. Barham then buried another triple on the next possession, giving the Claws a 64-56 lead. Fort Wayne rattled off 6 straight points, capped by a Jones slam. Bennett went strong to the rim with a big right-handed slam, but a Walt Lemon, Jr. shot was goaltended to make it a 1 point game. Yabusele competed a 4-point play to put Maine back up 71-66. Stephan Hicks buried a three to tie the game at 77. Jones gave the Mad Ants their first lead of the back with a running floater. Uthoff’s three gave Fort Wayne an 88-85 lead after 3.
In the 4th, Lemon started to take over the game, scoring a pair of buckets. Lemon and Jones continued to score at will against the Red Claws, extending the lead to 96-89. Lemon buried a three to put the Ants up 12. Fort Wayne opened the 4th making 10 of 13 shots, on a 21-4 run. Lemon continued a dominant performance, extending the lead to 23 points on a steal and slam. Fort Wayne out-scored Maine 34-18 in the 4th, and 106-71 in the final 3 quarters after Maine led by 16 after 1.
Fort Wayne shot 53.1% (51-96) from the floor, 42.9% (9-21) from three-point range, and 11-13 from the free throw line. Maine shot 46.9% (38-81), 35.3% (12-34) from downtown, and 15-21 from the charity stripe.
Maine next heads to Raptors 905 on Monday. The Red Claws return home on Feb. 25 when they face Windy City.