–26 Made Three-Pointers; 41 Assists In Victory Over Westchester–
PORTLAND, ME – The Maine Celtics broke the franchise records for assists and made three-pointers in a game as they dropped the Westchester Knicks, 142-117.
Chris Clemons led the Celtics with 38 points (32 in the second half), including 10-15 from three, five rebounds and four assists. Sam Hauser finished with 26 points, four rebounds and three assists on 6-14 from deep. Luke Kornet tallied 20 points, five rebounds and 10 assists. Jaysean Paige had 18 points, six rebounds and eight assists. Brodric Thomas posted 11 points and Deonte Burton had eight points and eight rebounds. Bruno Fernando put up six points, nine rebounds and four assists.
Hauser collected a steal on the game’s opening possession and kicked it ahead to Morgan, who found Kornet for a lob to get Maine started. Burton hustled for a steal and hit Thomas for a breakaway dunk. The Celtics’ ball movement and activity created a number of open looks early in the game, which led to a 17-12 lead at the first timeout. A 6-3 run for Westchester made it 20-18. Clemons and Paige used the long-ball to help the Celtics finish the first quarter strong, leading 35-26.
Paige heated up in a hurry in his return to the lineup, dropping 10 points in his first four minutes. Clemons and Fernando connected with Demers for drive-and-kick threes on consecutive possessions to give Maine a 46-28 lead. The Celtics were unconscious in the second, playing swarming defense, moving the ball crisply and knocking down open looks, leading to 40 points in the quarter. Maine took a 75-52 lead into the locker room, shooting 25-49 (51 percent) from the field, 11-26 (42 percent) from downtown and 7-8 (88 percent) from the stripe. Westchester shot 19-36 (53 percent) from the field, 4-17 (24 percent) from downtown and 5-7 (71 percent) at the stripe.
Westchester started the second half on a 10-2 run to bring themselves within 10. The Celtics defense forced a few turnovers and got out in transition to get the momentum back. Burton’s downhill drive and finish gave Maine an 84-67 advantage. Hauser knocked down a couple of timely threes in the third, but the Knicks put another run together mid-quarter to get it back within 10. The Celtics found some good offense with Clemons at the helm, and the lead had ballooned to 96-80 after three.
The Knicks went on another early-quarter run, outscoring Maine 8-3 to start the fourth, forcing the Celtics into a timeout. Brandon Williams picked up a technical foul for the Knicks, then Clemons and Demers each rattled home a triple to stretch the lead to 18. Kornet hit an elbow jumper and then Hauser’s three started a parade from beyond the arc; Clemons, Demers, and Paige all hit threes to give Maine a 124-104 lead with 4:01 remaining. The Celtics would coast to victory with Clemons leading the way from there on out. Maine finished 49-90 (54.4 percent) from the floor, 26-52 (50 percent) and 10-12 (83.3 percent) from the line. Westchester finished 43-79 (54.4 percent) from the floor, 14-37 (37.8 percent) and 11-14 (78.6) percent from the line. Maine’s 26 three-pointers and 41 assists broke previous franchise records of 24 three-pointers and 38 assists.
The Maine Celtics will head out on a three-game road trip before returning to The Expo to face the Grand Rapids Gold on Feb. 4 and Feb. 6.