CANTON, Ohio </strong — The Grand Rapids Drive (2-0) outlasted the Canton Charge (0-3) for the second time this season on Friday night, squeaking out a 127-121 win in double overtime on the road. The score was much closer than the first meeting in Grand Rapids, a 134-111 win for the Drive.
Jordan Crawford provided 33 points for the Drive, supplanting that with clutch shots in both overtime periods, including drawing a foul with 0.3 seconds left in the first overtime that forced a second overtime. Nikola Jovanovic had his second 20-and-10 game in as many tries, finishing with 27 points and 17 rebounds. Ray McCallum added 21 points, seven rebounds and nine assists and the newly acquired Kevin Murphy had 21 points and nine rebounds.
Chris Evans paced Canton, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds. Michael Dunigan added 22 points and 12 rebounds and Quinn Cook recorded a triple-double with 15 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists despite making only six of his 25 field goal attempts.
Like the first meeting between the teams, Grand Rapids started off quickly, opening a 19-10 lead with five minutes remaining in the first quarter. Nikola Jovanovic had 10 points in the first four minutes, going six-for-six from the foul line, but foul trouble limited him after that. The Charge came flying back to cut the lead to a negligible 27-25 at the end of the first.
But Canton could not get much going offensively in the second quarter to maintain that surge, scoring just seven points in the first half of the quarter. The Drive’s lead stayed around ten for much of the second, but then they ran into their own scoring troubles. Justin Johnson’s three-pointer cut the lead down to three with 53 seconds remaining in the half, 45-42 the halftime score.
Chris Evans led the Charge with 11 points at halftime and Michael Dunigan had 10 points and seven rebounds. Jovanovic had 10 points and 10 rebounds at halftime for the Drive.
The Charge tied the game at 70 in the third quarter, as their 28 points marked a game high for a quarter. Evans scored 11 points in the third for Canton and Jovanovic put up 10 for the Drive.
Canton opened the fourth quarter on a quick 7-2 run, but the Drive were able to answer almost immediately. Canton held a slim lead for almost the entire quarter, but Ray McCallum made a layup to tie the game with 22 seconds remaining for the Drive, and they forced a turnover in the closing seconds to force overtime.
Jordan Crawford was on fire for the Drive in overtime, hitting a big three and drawing a foul with less than half a second to go after Justin Johnson made a three with four seconds remaining that put Canton up one. But Crawford missed the first free throw, and had to connect on the second to force another overtime.
But Crawford redeemed the missed free throw soon after, hitting a three in the final overtime to put the Drive up four with 1:03 remaining. A defensive stop by the Drive and another three-pointer by McCallum put the game out of reach.
Neither team shot very well, with the Drive making 42 percent of their field goals and the Charge 40 percent. The Charge compensated by pulling down 17 offensive rebounds, while the Drive made up for their shooting by consistently getting to the foul line. They attempted 47 free throws and made 35 of them.