Frazier with a 22 point, 13 rebound, 14 assist triple-double; Babb with career-high 33 points
PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, rode a triple-double from Tim Frazier and a career high from Chris Babb to a win over the league-leading Austin Spurs on Thursday night at the Portland Expo Building, 121-110. The triple-double, Frazier’s fourth of the season, is the eighth in franchise history.
Omari Johnson opened the night with a pair of free throws for the Red Claws (25-11) before the Spurs (29-11) rattled off six straight on a pair of threes from Mfon Udofia and Erik Murphy around a Murphy put back. Johnson and Andre Stringer buried back to back threes of their own to level the game at eight. The rest of the quarter was a back and forth battle that saw seven ties and only two lead changes, the last of which came as Babb drilled a three to make it 11-10. The Red Claws would hold a 31-30 lead after one.
Jonathan Simmons opened the second quarter with a three to take the lead for Austin, one of five changes in the quarter. Babb regained the lead for Maine with a layup to make it 37-35 before Simmons hit a three to take a 38-37 lead. Johnson put Maine back on top with a layup on the next trip down before Murphy’s three gave the Spurs a lead they wouldn’t relinquish in the half as they cruised to a 61-55 halftime lead. Austin shot 25-40 (63%) in the half. Maine connected on 21-42 shots (50%).
The Red Claws came out of the locker room shooting, opening the second half with a 21-3 run led by Babb’s 13 to open up a 76-64 lead. Austin fought back with strong free throw shooting (8-9), and a Keith Wright jump shot with 1:56 remaining gave the Spurs the lead, but Johnson scored five points on back to back possessions to give the Red Claws an 81-78 lead, a lead they would not relinquish. Babb scored 16 in the quarter and Frazier handed out five assists in the rally.
The Red Claws closed out the game with a strong quarter from Babb (nine in the quarter), Frazier (seven points, six rebounds) and Romero Osby (seven in the quarter). Kyle Anderson, on assignment from the San Antonio Spurs, led Austin with 13 in the quarter.
Anderson finished the contest with 29 points and five rebounds. Simmons (25), Orlando Johnson (19 points, seven rebounds), Murphy (18 points, six rebounds), and Wright (12 points, 11 rebounds) were the other Spurs in double figures.
Babb led all scorers with 33 points. Frazier (22 points, 13 rebounds, 14 assists) added the triple-double. Johnson (23 points, eight rebounds) and Osby (13) rounded out the players in double figures. Ralph Sampson added six points and seven rebounds to the winning effort.
The Red Claws are back at it Friday night when they head to Westchester to take on the Knicks at 7:00 PM. The Spurs return home to host the Bakersfield Jam on Saturday at 7:30 PM.