PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, got a big showing from Boston Celtics assignee Carsen Edwards and a monster performance from Tacko Fall, crushing conference rival Canton Thursday night, 122-98 at the Portland Expo.
Maine (22-8) was led by Edwards with 22 points. Fall finished with his 11th double-double of the season – 18 points and 16 rebounds. Jaysean Paige added 15 points off the bench, while Tremont Waters and Sheldon Jeter each scored 14 points. Bryce Brown added 13 points in his return to game play from injury, and Wayne Blackshear contributed 12 points off the bench in the win.
Canton (20-12) was led by Malik Newman with 20 points.
Both teams started the game slowly. Waters drove and scored, then setting up Brown for a bucket. Edwards’ three made it 14-8 Red Claws and forced an early Charge timeout. Waters fed Jeter for an easy bucket, then set up Jeter with a corner three. Maine led 19-10. Jeter scored 8 points in the 1st quarter, and Waters buried a three in the final seconds of the quarter to give Maine a 29-20 lead after 1.
In the 2nd, the Red Claws came out on fire. Tacko jammed home three quick buckets, and Edwards buried a triple. In the blink of an eye, the Red Claws were up 17 with a 40-23 lead. Maine continued to pour it on, with Fall grabbing his 10th rebound on the offensive side, setting up a Wayne Blackshear lay-up. The Claws continued to pour it on, with Waters’ bucket late in the period giving Maine a 55-37 halftime lead. The Red Claws shot 48.9% (23-47) from the field, with Edwards scoring 12 in the half. Tacko grabbed 12 boards in the first half. Canton shot just 29.6% (16-54) from the floor, and just 10% (2-20) from downtown.
Maine started the 3rd the same way – Waters and Edwards knocked down shots. Tacko went down with a shoulder injury, knocking him out of the game. The Charge took advantage, cutting the deficit to 11. Tacko returned to the game and immediately made an impact, his dunk righted the ship and gave him a double-double on the night. Great passing found Blackshear for a corner three, and Tacko’s hook shot made it a 21 point game. The Red Claws led 93-64 after 3.
In the 4th, Edwards knocked down a three to maintain a 20+ point lead. Jeter hit another triple to make it 103-79. The Red Claws were able to cruise from there. Maine finished the game shooting 55.6% (50-90) from the field, 34.1% (14-41) from three-point range, and 5-6 from the free throw line. Canton shot 41.7% (43-103) from the floor, 15.2% (5-33) from beyond the arc, and 4-6 from the charity stripe.