Portland, ME — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, led by as many as 21 points, but held on to take down the Agua Caliente Clippers Friday night, 112-109 in front of a sold out crowd at the Portland Expo.
Maine (13-6) got a huge performance from Yante Maten, who recorded a 21 point-10 rebound double-double. Carsen Edwards, on assignment from the Boston Celtics, added 21 points and 5 boards, while Bryce Brown contributed 16 points, and Kaiser Gates 14. Two-Way Player Tacko Fall had a huge game with 11 points on 4-5 shooting to go with 7 rebounds and 6 blocks. Trey Davis added 11 points off the bench in the win.
Agua Caliente (9-10) was led by Terance Mann, on assignment from the Los Angeles Clippers, with 23 points. J.J. Avila added 20 points off the bench.
Edwards opened the game with a transition three, followed up by a Maten lay-up. Gates scored 5 quick points as the teams traded buckets. Brown’s first three of the game put Maine up 15-9. Brown’s four-point play put the Claws up 10. Tacko checked in an made an immediate impact on both ends of the floor. Terance Mann and the Clippers hung around, cutting it to 5 on a Markel Crawford free throw. The Red Claws led 32-28 after one quarter of play.
In the 2nd, J.J. Avila and the Clippers cut it to 3 points before Brown stopped the run with a three of his own. Tacko’s offensive put-back put Maine back up 8, and Maten’s lay-up made it 43-33 Claws. Agua Caliente didn’t go away. Terry Larrier’s three cut it to 49-43. The Red Claws led 60-45 at the half. After starting 5-9 from three, Maine finished the half 3-13 after that, shooting 36.4% (8-22) from downtown in the half, and 47.8% (22-46) from the floor.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes started the second half by bouncing in a three, but Edwards answered with a three of his own the other way. Avila’s three off a Jaysean Paige miss cut it to 81-66, but Trey Davis answered with a trey. The Red Claws led 89-77 after 3.
In the 4th, Brown’s three forced a quick time-out from Agua Caliente. The Clippers weren’t done. Desi Rodriguez drained a three, then an Avila lay-up got it to 7 points ant 97-90. Brown again stopped the run with a three. Kaiser Gates’ emphatic slam got the crowd going and gave Maine a 102-90 lead. A pair of quick threes cut the deficit to 6 with 4:02 to go. A Gates dunk and Bibbs bucket got it quickly back to 10. Terance Mann’s inside basket made it 108-104, and Mann’s long two got it to 2 points with 1:14 to go. Rathan-Mayes’ tip-in tied the game at 108 with :39.5 left. Maten put the Claws ahead with a driving lay-up. Rathan-Mayes made only 1 of 2 free throws with :19 left to cut it to 110-109. Edwards’ free throws put the game away from there.
The Red Claws shot 44.6% (41-92) from the field, 35% (14-40) from downtown, and 10-14 from the free throw line. Agua Caliente shot 40.8% (42-103) from the floor, 25.6% (11-43) from beyond the arc, and 8-10 from the charity stripe.
The Red Claws return to action next Thursday against Agua Caliente at the Portland Expo.