GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Jamel Morris eclipsed his career high in scoring by more than 10 points, scoring 37 points off the bench on Friday night to help lead the Grand Rapids Drive (8-10) to a 108-100 victory over the Delaware 87ers (4-12) at home. It was the Drive’s highest scoring total of the year and he matched his season high in the first half alone with 20 points. The Drive built a big 58-33 lead at halftime, and although the Sevens rallied in the second half it was not enough to make up for the Drive’s dominant defensive first half.
Landry Nnoko’s big day on the boards was also a huge factor for Grand Rapids in the win, as he scored 18 points and pulled down 19 rebounds, the second-highest total in franchise history behind Willie Reed’s 23 in the 2014-15 season. He had 16 points and 15 rebounds at the half. KJ McDaniels, making his Drive debut, scored 24 points off the bench with eight rebounds and Marcus Simmons chipped in 15 points.
Devin Robinson’s 22 points and seven rebounds were a highlight off the bench for Delaware. Christian Wood added 17 points with eight rebounds. James Blackmon Jr. also made an impact off the bench, scoring 19 points with eight rebounds.
The 87ers outscored the Drive 67-50 in the second half, and the Drive surrendered a season-high 39 points in the fourth quarter, but the Sevens’ inability to get anything going in the first half doomed their chances. Grand Rapids held them to just 11-of-40 shooting in the first 24 minutes of play and led by as many as 27 points, as the 87ers did not get the deficit back within single digits until the closing seconds.
The second quarter was especially important for the Drive, as they outpaced Delaware 33-16. The Drive only had seven players available for the game, with each of them playing at least 30 minutes, but they still neared season highs in rebounds (53) and three-point percentage (48 percent) and set a new season high in free throws made (31), an anomaly for one of the worst teams in the league at drawing foul shots.