CANTON, Ohio — The Canton Charge (17-24), powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, defeated the Maine Red Claws (17-24), 96-93, at First Responders Night at the Canton Memorial Civic Center Wednesday night. The Charge are now winners of four of their last five contests and sit five games out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with nine games remaining.
The Red Claws opened the game on a 13-3 run and led by as many as 13 in the opening stanza. Trailing 30-21 after one, the Charge opened the second quarter with a 10-3 run to cut the lead to 33-31. The Red Claws responded, pushing their lead back to seven, maintaining a 54-47 advantage entering the break.
Neither team could gain ground in the third quarter, with both teams shooting 38% on 9-of-24 shooting from the field respectively. After a nearly identical performance and 22-22 tie in the third, the Red Claws entered the fourth with a 76-69 lead. Trailing 82-75 with 8:23 remaining, the Charge went on a 10-1 run to take its first lead of the game, 85-83. Leading 92-90 with 23.6 seconds left, Grant Jerrett sprung free of an inbounds play and hammered home an emphatic dunk to push the Charge lead to 94-90. Maine’s T.J. Peak answered immediately with a three pointer to cut the lead to one, the team’s only bucket in the last 3:13, before two London Perrantes free throws put the game away.
Cavaliers assignee Ante Zizic recorded his fourth consecutive double-double in a Charge uniform, posting 15 points and 13 rebounds before fouling out after 31 minutes of action. Fellow Cavaliers assignee Marcus Thornton scored a team-high 21 points off of the bench for the home team. Perrantes finished with seven points and a game-high 12 assists, his eighth game this season with double digit assists. John Holland added 15 points while JaCorey Williams scored 14 off the bench.
Boston Celtics assignee Guerschon Yabusele posted a game-high 24 points while grabbing nine rebounds and dishing four assists in 41 minutes. Devin Williams came off of the bench to provide Maine with 16 points and 14 rebounds in a workman-like 26 minutes of relief.