PORTLAND, Maine – The Maine Celtics exploded with offense in the second half, led by a 52-point outburst by Chris Clemons en route to a convincing win over the Lakeland Magic, 130-101.
Maine set a franchise record with 46 points in the third quarter, 20 of which came from Chris Clemons, who scored 42 points in the second half. The Celtics scored 85 points in the second half, tying a franchise record. Down 13 at halftime, Maine out-scored Lakeland 85-45 in the second half.
Clemons tied a franchise record with 11 made three-pointers. He finished shooting 18-28 from the floor, including 11-20 from three-point range. Clemons also grabbed 11 rebounds in the win.
Clemons’ previous career-high of 41 points was equaled in his last outing on Sunday. He is the third player in franchise history to score 50+ points in a game, and 52 is the second-most points scored in a G League game this season.
Also tonight, John Bohannon became the leading rebounder in Maine franchise history early in the second quarter, surpassing Chris Wright with 735 total rebounds. Bohannon finished with 8 rebounds on the night.
Deonte Burton finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks. Matt Ryan posted 19 points and five rebounds. Brodric Thomas had 13 points, three rebounds and five assists. Isaiah Cousins turned in 10 points, three rebounds, five assists and three steals. Luke Kornet tallied six points, six rebounds, five assists and four blocks.
Aleem Ford paced Lakeland with 27 points on 10-16 shooting. BJ Johnson recorded 22 points and five rebounds. Devin Cannady and Jeff Dowtin each dropped 13 points. Hassani Gravett registered eight points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals.
Bohannon found Burton cutting along the baseline for a dunk on Maine’s first possession. Clemons nailed a turnaround from the right elbow a minute later. Jaire Grayer put Lakeland on the board and Ford tied it up soon after. The Celtics shot well to start and were holding the Magic to 4-13 from the field at the halfway point of the first quarter as they led 17-12. Morgan checked in for Maine, ending his weeks-long injury stint. Lakeland went on an 8-2 run to charge into the lead, benefitted by nine Celtics turnovers in the quarter. The Magic led 30-22 after one.
Johnson converted a layup before Gravett nailed two quick jumpers, helping the Magic go up by a dozen early in the second quarter. Burton and Cousins found success for the Celtics by getting into the lane, finishing strong and attacking the glass to help chip into the lead. A pair of threes from Ryan pulled Maine within one possession, trailing 43-40 with just over five minutes left in the half. Lakeland responded with a 13-3 run to regain a comfortable lead. Clemons banked home a layup just before the horn to make it 56-45 in favor of the Magic at halftime. Maine shot 17-37 (45.9 percent) from the field, 8-22 (36.4 percent) from deep and 2-2 (100 percent) from the line in the first half. Lakeland shot 22-51 (43.1 percent) from the floor, 6-19 (31.6 percent) from deep and 5-5 (100 percent) from the line.
Thomas’ 15-footer got the third quarter started. Thomas would hit a couple of threes and assist on a Ryan layup in the first four minutes of the third as he took control of the offense. From there on out, it was all Clemons; he dropped 20 points on 5-7 from deep as Maine rolled to a franchise-record 46 third-quarter points. Burton added a smooth Euro-step finger-roll in transition to give the Celtics the lead. Clemons was on fire from well beyond the arc, hitting jumpers off-the-dribble and from a standstill. Bohannon and Kornet’s interior defense stalled Lakeland’s offense, and Demers’ late-quarter three gave the Celtics a 91-81 lead heading into the final frame.
Kornet layed one in before Clemons hit another triple, his eighth of the night, early in the fourth quarter. Lakeland’s offense struggled to create open looks while the Celtics continued to knock down all of theirs. Jeremiah Tilmon dunked over Kornet and the ensuing celebration prompted a technical foul, after which Kornet scored on Tilmon in the low post to put Maine up 108-89. The Celtics coasted to victory from there, led by Clemons’ long-range accuracy in a career-high scoring performance. Maine finished 47-80 (58.8 percent) from the floor, 21-44 (47.7 percent) from downtown and 10-12 (83.3 percent) from the stripe. Lakeland finished 39-95 (41.1 percent) from the floor, 17-45 (37.8 percent) from downtown and 5-6 (83.3 percent) from the stripe.