GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The Grand Rapids Drive (21-14) secured their fourth straight win after defeating divisional rival, the Canton Charge (21-13) with a final score of 103-101. After jumping out to a 12-point lead after the first quarter, the visiting Charge matched the Drive’s energy by chipping away at the lead, resulting in Canton being down by just four heading into the half. Tonight’s stat lines for both teams were within close margins once again, but the Drive prevailed with their ability to move the ball efficiently, dominate the paint and take advantage of fast-break points.
The Drive were yet again led by the trio of Donta Hall, Louis King and Jordan Bone. Hall pulled out his third-straight double-double with a team high 19 points, shooting 8-10 from the field, in addition to 11 rebounds. Pistons two-way player Louis King had another strong night offensively, earning 18 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists & 4 steals. Pistons two-way player Jordan Bone contributed another 17 points for the team to go along with 3 assists. Adam Woodbury added a solid 11 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks off the bench.
Cavaliers assignee Malik Newman commanded the floor for the visiting team, tallying 28 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists. Guard Levi Randolph added another 21 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals to Canton’s stat line. Sheldon Mac followed up with 17 points and 5 rebounds and Dean Wade added 11 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 blocks.
The momentum switched to the Drive’s favor in the third, as the home team stretched their lead to 13 points heading into the fourth. Canton made a valiant effort and got within one possession from the lead late, but the Drive controlled the paint, earning 58 points compared to 40 for the visiting team. The Drive’s aggressiveness was unmatched on offense, which earned the home team 19 second-chance points compared to just 6 for Canton. Additionally, the Drive’s ability to move the ball efficiently, with 25 team assists compared to 14 for Canton allowed the home to set the pace to their offense.
Both teams now head into All-Star Weekend with a chance to rest as they continue their playoff push. The Drive will then continue with game three of their four-game home stretch and will face off with the Eastern Conference’s top Wisconsin Herd on Wednesday, February 19th. The Charge will take on the Northern Arizona Suns in Canton on the same night. Tip-off for both games is at 7 p.m. local time.