Portland, ME – The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, lost a big lead but managed to hang on to beat the Long Island Nets, 116-114.
Maine (7-2) was led by Yante Maten with 24 points and 8 rebounds. Justin Bibbs added 22 points, while Tremont Waters added 17 points and 10 assists in the win. Boston Celtics assignee Romeo Langford added 14 points on 7-11 shooting before leaving with an ankle injury. Trey Davis added 14 points, while Wayne Blackshear scored 12.
Long Island (1-7) was led by Two-Way Player Henry Ellenson with 25 points. Rodions Kurucs, on assignment from the Brooklyn Nets, added 16 points.
Maten picked up where he left off last game, draining a three. Gates followed that up with a three of his own, with Waters getting in on the action to cut the deficit to 1. Waters’ three-point play gave Maine its first lead of the game at 12-10. Davis dropped in a couple of floaters to extend the lead. Maten’s driving bucket gave the Claws a 33-20 lead, and at the end of 1, the Red Claws led 43-25 after 1. Maine made 8 three-pointers in the period.
In the 2nd, Jaylen Hands buried a three for Long Island to try to get the Nets back into the game. Devin Cannady followed that up with a three of his own, cutting the Red Claws lead to 14. Long Island’s 14-2 run cut the game to 6 when Kurucs’ lay-up cut it to 47-41. C.J. Williams’ three got it to 5. Justin Bibbs stopped the run with a three of his own. Blackshear rocked the rim to help right the ship. Henry Ellenson drained a three late in the quarter, but Maine’s lead at the half was 66-53. Maten led all scorers at the break with 17 points.
In the 3rd, Maten picked up where he left off by draining a three. Bryce Brown followed that up with a trey of his own. Long Island hung around, with Kurucs knocking in a triple to help make it an 8 point game. C.J. Massinburg’s three made it 74-69. Langford started to heat up for Maine, scoring 6 quick points, and the Red Claws led 82-74. Angel Nunez’s driving lay-up followed by a Hands three helped the Nets get back to 3. The Red Claws led 91-86 after 3.
Langford started the 4th with another quick bucket but left the game with an injury after the play. Maten’s floater put the Claws up 7. Davis’ free throw made it a 10 point lead again at 102-92. In the blink of an eye, the Nets scored 7 straight to make it a 3 point game. Davis’ steal and lay-up stopped the run. Kurucs hit a three to make it a 106-105 game, but Waters scoop and score put Maine up 3. Waters scored a huge basket late in the quarter to help put the game away.
Maine shot 47.4% (45-95) from the field, 36.1% (13-36) from three-point range and 8-9 from the free throw line. Long Island shot 41.5% (39-94) from the floor, 37.3% (19-51) from downtown and 10-12 from the charity stripe.