PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Red Claws bounced back from last night’s loss with a triple-double from Tim Frazier, the tenth in Red Claws history, and a career high scoring effort from Corey Walden against the league-leading Sioux Falls Skyforce Sunday night at the Portland Expo Building. This is only the second time the Red Claws have beaten Sioux Falls at home in franchise history.
Frazier finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists for the tenth triple-double in Red Claws franchise history -– Frazier has five of those -– in just his second game back with the team.
The Skyforce (29-8) opened with a Deandre Liggins three pointer, but Andre Stringer answered with a three of his own and a pair of free throws. Briante Weber tied the game at 5-5, but a Malcolm Miller three gave the Red Claws (22-15) a lead they would not relinquish at the 10:03 mark. Miller’s basket sparked a 12-4 run, with Frazier scoring five of the 12. Keith Benson had the four points for the Skyforce in that stretch. Benson and Liggins would add four and three more respectively in the quarter, but Maine pulled away with a 35-27 lead after one.
Sioux Falls tried to keep it close, pulling to within four midway through the period on back to back three pointers from Liggins, but James Young, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, sparked a 16-7 run to head into halftime leading 69-56.
The Skyforce came out of the locker room gunning, with Rodney McGruder, Benson and Weber going on a 6-0 run to open the period, but Coty Clarke poured in six straight of his own to hold off the run. McGruder chipped in five more to keep Sioux Falls within seven, but Young, Frazier and Walden had other plans, pushing the lead up to 16 late in the quarter. Weber scored at the end of the quarter to cut the Maine lead to 94-80 heading into the final frame.
In the fourth quarter, both teams came out shooting, with the Red Claws hitting 64.7% of their shots (11-17) and Sioux Falls 48.0% (12-25). Maine pulled away with free throws, hitting 14-16 in the quarter to hold off a late charge by the Skyforce to hold on for the win.
McGruder had a new career high with 32 points while also grabbing nine rebounds to lead Sioux Falls. Weber (20 points, six assists, four steals), Liggins (14 points, six rebounds, three steals, two blocks) and Benson (14 points, 10 rebounds) round out the Skyforce players in double figures.
Walden (33 points, two steals) led all scorers, while Frazier recorded his fifth career triple-double (24 points, 12 rebounds, 12 assists, two steals). Clarke (21 points, seven rebounds, two blocks), Johnson (13), Levi Randolph (12 points, six rebounds, two steals) and Miller (11 points, two blocks) had strong all around efforts in the Maine win.