The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, got off to another fast start, and then held on to beat Raptors 905 Saturday night, 99-98 in a wild game at the Portland Expo.
Maine (13-21) has now won 5 of its last 7 games. The Red Claws were led by Boston Celtics Two-Way Player R.J. Hunter with 23 points and 5 assists. Archie Goodwin led the bench with 21 points. Fellow Two-Way Player P.J. Dozier added 15 points and 7 rebounds, while Andrew White scored 15 points and grabbed 7 boards as well. John Bohannon added another monster double-double with 14 points and 17 rebounds in the win, to go with 5 assists.
Raptors 905 (21-14) was shorthanded tonight, missing both Two-Way Players Chris Boucher and Jordan Loyd, as well as Malcolm Miller (10-day contract), all with their parent club, the Toronto Raptors. Josh Adams led the 905 with 23 points and 7 assists, while Jordan Howard added 18 points in the loss.
Bohannon and Dozier got the party started with two quick buckets. The Red Claws and 905 would trade buckets back and forth, with Maine holding a 13-11 lead after another Dozier lay-up. Rodney Pryor’s floater tied the game at 19, and Josh Adams gave Raptors 905 its first lead of the game from the free throw line. Sheldon Jeter gave Maine the lead back, and Goodwin’s three put the Claws up 4. The Red Claws led 31-26 after 1. Maine shot 54.2% (13-24) from the floor, despite going just 2-9 from beyond the arc.
In the 2nd, Goodwin continued his strong play on both ends of the floor. Hunter got into the box score from the free throw line, maintaining the 5 point lead for Maine. Dozier scored on back-to-back possessions to make it 40-33 Red Claws. Adams fed Duane Notice for the easy 905 lay-in. Bohannon’s put-back gave him 10 rebounds on the night and Maine a 6 point lead. Derek Cooke, Jr. put in a circus alley-oop to cut the 905 deficit to 3, but Hunter answered with a trey the other way. Hunter followed that up with another three, but Rodney Pryor’s monster slam cut it to 2 – Maine’s lead was 57-53 at halftime. The Red Claws shot 51.2% (22-43) in the first half, while Raptors 905 shot 44.7% (21-47).
Hunter picked up where he left off in the first half, scooping home a hook shot to put Maine up 5. Notice beat the shot clock with a lay-up to end the drought. The 905 opened the 3rd on a 14-7 run to take a 67-64 lead. MiKyle McIntosh put in a tough bucket to put Raptors 905 up 4. The Red Claws came back, with Hunter driving and scoring to give the Claws a 70-69 lead. Adams buried a three at the buzzer to give Raptors 905 a 78-76 lead after 3.
Pryor opened the 4th with a tough fadeaway jumper. White buried back to back three’s to give Maine a 90-87 lead. Goodwin’s steal and big slam put the Red Claws up 4. Cooke’s alley-oop slam tied that game at 95. Goodwin’s put-back made it 99-95 Claws. Jordan Howard made a tough three to cut it to 1 with 1:30 to go. It stayed that way until the final seconds – the 905 had a chance to win the game, but Adams missed the game-winner at the buzzer.
The Red Claws finished up shooting 43.5% (40-92) from the floor, 25% (7-28) from three-point range, and 12-18 from the free throw line. Raptors 905 shot 42.6% (40-94) from the field, 22.9% (8-35) from downtown, and 10-18 from the charity stripe.