PORTLAND, ME - The Maine Red Claws (5-2) used a 20-4 run to open the fourth quarter to run away from the Canton Charge (2-5) at the Portland Expo Building on Sunday afternoon, 103-90. The Red Claws, who were tied with the Charge 22-22 after the first quarter, took the lead for good 19 seconds into the second quarter.
The Charge jumped out to an early lead and looked to be in control through the first quarter, but Maine battled back with the strong play of Dajuan Summers off the bench as he scored the Red Claws final seven points of the quarter to even the teams at 22-22. From there, it was all Maine, as they opened the second quarter with six quick points and never looked back. Kris Joseph scored 13 of his game-high 21 points in the quarter, pushing the Red Claws' lead to 10 at the break, 51-41.
Canton came out of the locker room on fire, using a 13-4 run of their own to get to within three points of the Red Claws. That was as close as they would get, however, as Maine withstood the offensive barrage to take a 69-64 lead into the final frame. The fourth quarter was all Red Claws, with Xavier Silas and Micah Downs combining for 14 of 20 points in a Maine 20-4 run to open the period and run away with the game. A 14-4 Charge run to close out the game wasn't quite enough as Maine held on for the win and retained first place in the East Division.
Canton was led by Jon Leuer's double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. The Charge also got significant contributions from Arinze Onuaku (17 pts., 9 reb.), Antoine Aguido (11 pts., 2 reb.) and Travis Franklin (9 pts., 3 reb.). Michael Eric and Alex Ruoff each added eight points and four rebounds in the loss.
The Red Claws were paced by Adidas Player of the Game Kris Joseph who scored a game-high 21 points and five rebounds and three steals to a well-rounded game. Maine also got significant efforts from Shelvin Mack with a double-double (18 pts., 10 assists), Dajuan Summers (15 pts., five reb.), Chris Ayer (14 pts., 4 reb.), Micah Downs (13 pts., seven reb.) and Xavier Silas (11 pts., two assists). Chris Wright came just shy of a double-double, chipping in nine points and eight rebounds.
The Red Claws will travel to Fort Wayne on Friday before completing a 2-game road trip in Erie on Sunday.