PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, defeated the Westchester Knicks on Sunday afternoon at the Portland Expo, 93-85. Maine improved to 26-17 on the season and now holds a 3.5 game lead over Delaware for the Atlantic Division. Maine’s magic number to clinch the division is 5 games with only 7 remaining.
Leading the way for Maine today was Abdel Nader, who did not play Thursday with an injury. Nader had 30 points on 10/25 shooting, while going 7/10 from the line, adding 9 rebounds and 3 assists. Jalen Jones had a double-double for Maine with 15 points on 6/16 shooting and 10 rebounds.
Marcus Georges-Hunt finished with 16 points going 5/9 from the floor and 6/6 from the line. He also had 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Asauhn Dixon-Tatum led the bench with 9 points and 6 rebounds, while Arthur Edwards has 8 points off the bench himself. Demetrius Jackson, on assignment from the Boston Celtics had 5 points, 12 assists and 7 rebounds.
In the 1st quarter, early on Maine and Westchester traded buckets, and found themselves tied at 6-6 after a turnaround jumper made from Damien Inglis. The Knicks took an early 9-point lead in this one after a driving layup made from Maurice Ndour, on assignment from the New York Knicks, and a three pointer from Inglis, they led Maine 16-7. With under 5 minutes to play, Jones finished off a dunk to cut the Westchester lead back to 10, 21-11 after being down by 12 points. After being down by as much as 15 points, Maine closed to the gap to 8, they trailed Westchester 30-22 after 1. Nader led Maine with 8 points in the quarter.
Heading into the 2nd quarter, Georges-Hunt started the Maine scoring on a euro step layup to make the score 32-24 in the Knicks’ favor. After falling back by 13 points, Maine was able to get the deficit under 10 after Nader missed a three-point attempt, followed his shot and grabbed the rebound, and slammed it home. Maine Trailed 38-31. Maine cut the Knicks lead down to 2 points, but after a small run finished by a four-point play from Kevin Capers, Maine trailed 44-36. Nader tied the game at 46-46 with under 3 minutes to play, on a corner three pointer set up by a nice assist from Jackson.
Maine took its first lead of the 2nd quarter on a corner three from Cameron Ayers, they led Westchester 49-48. On the Knicks next possession Lamb nailed a straight away three pointer giving the Knicks a 51-49 lead. That was the score at halftime. Abdel Nader led Maine with 14 points in the half, while Georges-Hunt added 10 points.
In the 3rd quarter, Maine tied that game at 53-53 after Nader made a tough layup off the glass. Nader tied the game up again after hitting a pair of free throws, the score was 55-55. Halfway through the quarter Maine and Westchester were ties, as they continued to swap the lead. Jackson gave Maine a 3-point lead after he nailed a three pointer at the top of the key, Maine led 65-62. After trailing to start the quarter, Maine took the lead late in the quarter and held on. The Red Claws led the Knicks 70-68 heading into the 4th and final quarter.
In the 4th quarter, the first bucket wasn’t scored until the 9:47 mark when Arthur Edwards made a free throw that extended Maine’s lead to 3, 71-68. Capers got the Knicks scoring going with a layup with 8:45 left in the game as the Knicks trailed Maine 71-70. Capers tied the game at 75-75 with just under 7 minutes to play after he nailed a three pointer.
Maine took the lead back on their next possession after Dallas Lauderdale made a layup, but then Capers made a layup at the other end, which tied the score again, 77-77. With 4:35 left in the game, with the Red Claws down by 2, Nader made a pair of free throws that tied the game at 81-81. Maine took a lead over the Knicks after Marcus Georges-Hunt made a pair of free throws, they led 85-83. Nader started to take the game over in the final minutes, as he scored 6 of Maine’s final 8 points to lead the Red Claws to a 93-85 win over the Westchester Knicks.
Maine was 34/80 (42.5%) from the floor as a team, going 8/30 (26.7%) from downtown and 17/25 from the line. Westchester finished 33/76 (43.4%) from the field, and 7/17(41.2%) from the three-point line and 12/16 from the charity stripe.