GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Joe Chealey’s 3-pointer with four seconds left gave the Greensboro Swarm (19-17) an exciting 118-117 win over the Grand Rapids Drive (17-19) on the road in a matinee game Tuesday. Twice in the final minute the Swarm equaled a go-ahead bucket scored by the Drive, culminating in Chealey (who scored 29 points) hitting the big shot that ended the Drive’s four-game winning streak.
Chealey added 13 assists to go with his 29 points, both team highs. The three-pointer he hit with four seconds left was his first make from deep on the night. Jaylen Barford also had a big game for Greensboro, finishing with 28 points. Tyler Nelson, Sam Thompson, Malik Pope and Luke Petrasek were all scorers in double figures as well for the Swarm.
Kalin Lucas paced the Drive in scoring for the third game in a row, leading three Grand Rapids players with 20 or more points by scoring 23 with seven rebounds and five assists. Marcus Thornton added 22 points, with all those coming in the middle two quarters. Michael Bethea Jr. was on fire off the bench, scoring 21 points and hitting 5-of-7 three-pointers in just 13 minutes off action. Speedy Smith recorded 12 assists off the bench and Isaiah Whitehead scored 19 points to just barely miss being a fourth 20-point Drive scorer.
The Swarm scored 41 points in the final quarter to rally for the win. They were in striking distance for the entire quarter but were unable to claw ahead significantly up until the final buzzer. The Drive held the lead for the majority of the game despite never leading by more than 12 points, as the Swarm never led by more than five points and their largest lead in the third quarter was just a point.
The Drive got clutch buckets from Lucas and Whitehead within the last minute of the game, but each was answered by Nelson and Barford on the Swarm’s next possession, and Chealey’s three put the Swarm up a point, with the Drive’s ensuing game-winning three-point attempt by Thornton ending up off the mark. The Drive fell just short of reaching .500 on the season for the first time since November 30.
Both teams shot the ball well, but the Swarm’s defensive discipline was a key factor in their win. The Drive attempted just eight free throws on the night.
The two teams will rematch at the DeltaPlex on Thursday night.