WASHINGTON, D.C. – Justin Robinson hit two clutch free throws with 2.3 seconds remaining to give the Capital City Go-Go (8-9) a thrilling 117-116 victory over the visiting Maine Red Claws (10-6) on Friday night at the Entertainment and Sports Arena.
Robinson’s free throws gave the Go-Go, who trailed by as many as 15 during the contest, their first lead of the game and Capital City was able to knock down the court-long inbounds pass at the buzzer to seal the victory. Robinson finished the game with 11 points and eight assists while on assignment from the Wizards.
Maine raced out to a quick lead, converting 8-12 (.667) shots from deep and shooting 13-18 (.722) from the field overall as they outscored the Go-Go 36-26 in the opening frame. Capital City was able to settle in the remainder of the game, as they held Maine to just 4-19 (.211) shooting from three the rest of the way. The Go-Go, who entered the game leading the NBA G League in forced turnovers, turned the Red Claws over 25 times to their own seven, and outscored Maine 33-10 in points off of turnovers in the game. The Go-Go also drew five offensive fouls – four of which were charges – keeping them near the top of the league in offensive fouls drawn.
The Go-Go were led by Jerian Grant, who finished with 24 points, five rebounds and five assists, while converting all six of his free throw attempts. Capital City shot 19-20 (.950) from the free throw line overall, accounting for 29 of the team’s points. The Go-Go’s .950 percentage from the line was also the highest in the team’s two-year history (min. 10 attempts). Jalen Hudson (21 points) and two-way player Garrison Mathews (20 points) rounded out Capital City’s trio of 20-plus scorers on the night. Jalen Jones nearly missed the 20-point mark and another double-double with a 19-point, nine-rebound performance. Chris Chiozza added 14 points and a clutch steal with 11.6 seconds remaining to give Capital City its winning possession of the game.
Yante Maten led all scorers with 29 points for Maine, who saw all five starters score in double figures. Trey Davis had 25 points, five rebounds and eight assists, while Boston two-way center Tacko Fall finished with 12 points, 16 rebounds and five blocks.
The Go-Go will play host to the Windy City Bulls in the second game of their four-game homestand on Sunday, December 29 at 6:00 p.m. The Red Claws return home to play the College Park Skyhawks on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
GO-GO HEAD COACH RYAN RICHMAN
On getting the win tonight:
“I was just told that we didn’t lead at all but for three seconds [2.3 seconds]. The guys played hard, we fell back into our identity. Obviously, they [Maine] made eight threes in the first quarter. We stuck to our game plan and continued to be aggressive, protect the paint and pressure ball handlers and their wings. We forced them into 25 turnovers for 33 points, and that’s what we do. We’re the best team in the league at [forcing turnovers] and we embrace it. We work on it and that’s what we do.”
On feeling like nothing was working:
“Yeah, we scored 117 points, so as much as you think nothing is working, 117 points should be enough to win the game. We are a defense-first team, so we feel like if we get good shots and move the ball, we’re in good shape.”
On multiple players stepping up at the end of the game:
“Jalen [Jones] what can I say? He made two free-throws before [Maine challenged] which were big… and Justin with his two free-throws [with 2.3 seconds left], he played great. I was really proud of Jalen Hudson and proud of Garrison [Mathews] coming off the bench. I thought Kellen [Dunham] gave us great minutes, so all-around team effort. The guys played hard in the second half. We stuck to our game plan and we battled. In the first quarter we were kind of hoping they were going to miss, but in the second half we put an emphasis on making them miss, and there is a difference. That’s something we talked about with our guys, whether it be with our close-outs or how we contest shooters, and that is something we take pride in.”
On Garrison Mathews injury:
“He’s getting treatment now. He was able to finish the game, but anytime you see a player slap the floor like that your mind kind of goes to the worst-case scenario. Thankfully he is okay. He’s one of the toughest players I’ve been around, almost tough to a fault. But, you’d rather have that than the other way around. It was good to see that he was okay.”