ONTARIO, Calif. —The Agua Caliente Clippers used 46 percent shooting from the three-point arc to top the Raptors 905 at home on Thursday, 95-92. With the win, the Clippers improved to 22-27 overall and are 1-0 over the Raptors, who boast the Eastern Conference’s second-best record.
The Raptors came out strong, going up by six at the end of the first quarter, then eventually extending their lead to 13 in the middle of the second. Guard Ike Iroegbu completed a three-point play to spark a quick Clippers run and C.J. Williams went 3-for-4 from three in the first half to keep the 905 lead at just two heading into the halftime break.
Down by 10 in the third quarter, Tyler Roberson tipped in a put-back to spark what would be a 16-4 Clippers run and put Agua Caliente up by six heading into the final quarter. Keith Steffeck hit a three to put the Clippers up by 14 with just over six minutes to play, but the Raptors refused to go away easily and went on an 8-0 run to cut the lead to single digits. The Raptors continued to chip away and put on a full-court press, but the Clippers took care of the ball and capitalized at the free-throw line, going 5-for-6 in the last 40 seconds to secure the win. Davion Berry hit three free throws after being fouled on a three-point attempt to put the Raptors within three, but that would be as close as the 905 would get.
The Clippers were balanced on offense, with six players scoring in double-figures. Williams led Agua Caliente with 20 points, while Roberson went for 14 points and a team-best 10 boards. Dakarai Allen added 10 points, while LaDontae Henton led the Clippers bench with 14 points, nine which came in the fourth quarter to maintain the Clippers edge. Steffeck finished with 13 points and Iroegbu added 12, and Skylar Spencer added eight boards and four points to round out the scoring effort.
“We knew the Raptors had a good record coming in and Coach (Casey Hill) wanted us to match their mentality and effort,” said Roberson. “I think we did that. We came out sluggish but then we picked it up.”