PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, lost a tough game to Raptors 905 Thursday night at the Portland Expo, 110-94.
Abdel Nader led the Red Claws in scoring from start to finish, pouring in 29 points on 9/17 shooting, and 8/9 from the line. Jalen Jones added 25 of his own on 8/18 shooting and 5/6 from the line. Maine’s bench scored just 6 points tonight. Leading the 905 was Axel Toupane off the bench with 17 points on 6/12 shooting and a perfect 4/4 from the free throw line. Brady Heslip finished with 16 and led the starters on 6/15 shooting. Big man Edy Tavares had a double-double inside finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
In the 1st quarter Maine started slow offensively, but had a couple of big three pointers from Marcus Georges-Hunt and Jalen Jones that sparked a small run. The 905 looked to work the ball inside early and often to big man Edy Tavares who had a quick 4 points. Mississauga played tough defensively which led to a 28-16 end of the quarter lead for the Raptors 905. Brady Heslip led the 905 with 5 points on 2/4 shooting. Abdel Nader carried the load for Maine scoring 9 of the teams 16 points.
Maine opened the 2nd quarter on a 13-2 run fueled by Jalen Jones and Coron Williams three point buckets, closing the gap to 1 point in favor of a Raptors 30-29 lead before Jerry Stackhouse called a timeout for the 905. The 905 responded to the run pushing the lead to 6 points, 37-29 with 5:00 left in the first half. Maine closed the gap heading into halftime, while both teams struggled to score which resulted in a 48-43 halftime score in favor of Mississauga.
The 905 where led by Axel Toupane with 10 first half points on 3/8 shooting while going 3/3 from the free throw line. Abdel Nader led Maine with 13 points on 4/10 shooting and 4/4 from the line. Marcus Georges-Hunt added 12 points on 4/10 shooting and 1 free throw.
In the 3rd quarter Maine started hot thanks to a quick 5 points from Abdel Nader making it 52-48 Raptors 905 around the 8:30 mark. Both teams traded baskets until Brady Heslip knocked down a three pointer around 6:00 making the score 63-55 in the 905s favor. With 2:39 left in the quarter Maine closed the lead down to 3 after a three pointer from Jalen Jones, trailing the 905 68-65. Raptors 905 closed the quarter strong, going on 14-3 run heading into the final quarter leading 82-68. Brady Heslip and Axel Toupane both had 13 points for through three periods. Nader continued to lead Maine through three with 25 points heading into the 4th.
Starting the 4th quarter the 905 continued to shoot well and play good defense, making a couple shots and maintaining their 14 point lead, 84-70. At the 6:30 mark Maine climbed closer to the 905, trailing 90-84 after a series of two point buckets and a free throw. 2:21 left in the game and the Raptors 905 led by 13, 104-91 despite the comeback effort from Maine. Maine struggled to connect on some key three point and two point shots late in this one and the 905 took advantage of it. Mississauga rolled to a 110-94 victory over Maine, winning their second straight in Maine, and improving to (16-7) on the season and a top the East. Maine falls to (15-9) and losing their second straight.
Maine shot 29/71 (40.8%) from the floor in tonight’s loss and went 20/25 (80.0%) from the line.