MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, used franchise record-shattering defense to overcome a double-digit deficit and defeat Raptors 905 Thursday night, 80-69. The Red Claws held Raptors 905 to just 7 points in the 3rd quarter, 25 points in the second half, and 69 points in the game, all franchise records.
The previous franchise record lows by a Red Claws opponent were: 11 points in a quarter (Dec. 20, 2013 vs. Sioux Falls), 31 points in a half (Mar. 27, 2015 vs. Westchester) and 75 points in a game (Dec. 17, 2009 at Erie).
Jordan Mickey, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, led all scorers with 20 points, to go with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. Marcus Georges-Hunt scored 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists, while Abdel Nader added 15 points and 9 boards in the win. Jalen Jones was near a double-double with 13 points and 9 boards, while Dallas Lauderdale led the defense with 7 blocks. Demetrius Jackson, also on assignment from the Celtics, finished with 4 points.
The 1st quarter started slowly for both teams offensively. Nader’s strong drive to the basket gave Maine an early lead, but the teams would go back and forth, with Brady Heslip knocking in a couple of three pointers. Edy Tavares played strong defensively for Raptors 905, grabbing 5 rebounds in the 1st quarter, but thanks to a Jackson bucket, the Red Claws led 21-20 after one.
Mickey started the 2nd quarter by draining two straight jumpers, getting into a rhythm offensively. Raptors 905 opened the quarter on a 10-4 run, taking a 30-25 lead. The 905 extended to a double-digit lead, with Tavares and Heslip making it a 39-27 advantage as Maine continued to struggle to score. Mickey led a late charge, but Maine still trailed 44-38 in what was the lowest-scoring half of the season. The Red Claws shot just 3-11 from downtown in the first half, while Raptors 905 shot just 2-12 from beyond the arc.
The Red Claws opened the 2nd half on a 9-0 run, with Mickey’s corner three giving Maine a 47-44 lead. The Claws started to make shots, with Coron Williams and Georges-Hunt dropping in three’s –- and suddenly Maine extended to a two possession lead. Dallas Lauderdale’s monster block set up another score for the Red Claws -– Maine out-scored Raptors 905 18-7 in the 3rd, taking a 56-51 lead after three. Seven points was the lowest offensive output in a quarter by a Red Claws opponent in franchise history.
The 905 came to life in the 4th quarter, but Maine seemed to have the answer for every basket. Arthur Edwards slammed home a bucket, and Georges-Hunt hit a huge triple to put the Claws up 65-59. Lauderdale continued his shot-blocking dominance, as Maine’s defensive prowess continued. Nader put the exclamation point on the game with a huge three with a minute to go, and Mickey’s put-back slam added the exclamation point, but the real story tonight was Maine’s defense.
Maine held Raptors 905 to 31 percent shooting (28-91) from the floor, 13 percent (3-24) from three-point range, and 10-13 from the free throw line. The Red Claws shot 39 percent (32-83) from the field, 36 percent (9-25) from downtown, and 7-12 from the charity stripe.