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The Claws can’t win ‘em all, but they did manage to split their two-game set at the 2010 NBA D-League Showcase in Idaho, beating L.A. on Monday before losing to Sioux Falls on Tuesday.
Here’s how it went down:
SIOUX FALLS DOWNS MAINE AT 2010 NBA D-LEAGUE SHOWCASE
BOISE, ID Jan. 5, 2010 – Playing its third game in four days, the Sioux Falls Skyforce had enough in the tank to snap a three-game losing streak, defeating the Maine Red Claws 121–102 in the fifth game of the 2010 NBA D-League Showcase.
All seven players who took the court for Sioux Falls scored in double figures, led by 20 points from David Bailey. Reggie Williams, the third-leading scorer in the D-League, had a terrific all-around game, finishing with 15 points on 6-for-9 shooting to go with eight rebounds and four assists. Raymond Sykes and Chris McCray each added 19 points for the Skyforce.
“It’s actually tough to play an 11:00 game. You worry about the energy level, but when there’s so much at stake, guys seem to find it,” said Sioux Falls coach Tony Fritz. “Our guys played extremely well, and hard, and that’s all we preach. You have to play hard all the time in this league.”
Alexis Ajinca, on assignment with Maine from the Charlotte Bobcats, and Will Blalock each scored 21 points for the Red Claws, who defeated Los Angeles 113-111 in yesterday’s second game. Mario West, who hit the game-winner against the D-Fenders, had another strong showing with 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting.
Maine completed its stay in Idaho, splitting two games. Sioux Falls takes on Austin tomorrow.
MAINE OUTLASTS LOS ANGELES AT 2010 NBA D-LEAGUE SHOWCASE
BOISE, ID Jan. 4, 2010 – If at first you don’t secure the game-clinching steal, then it’s best to go ahead and make the game-winning layup.
With the Maine Red Claws clenching to a three-point lead with less than 20 seconds remaining, Mario West failed to complete a strip of the L.A. Defender’s Joe Crawford, allowing the D-Fenders another possession and a chance to tie the game. Frank Robinson promptly hit a three-pointer to tie the game at 111-111.
The Red Claws went West on the final possession, and he delivered, hitting a driving layup with .6 seconds left on the clock to give Maine a 113-111 victory in the second game of the 2010 NBA D-League Showcase.
“I didn’t shoot very well in this game, but I was thankful that my team still trusted me at the end to make a play,” said West, playing in his first D-League Showcase after spending the last two seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. “This was a team effort. This is a really good group of guys to play with, and I’m happy we came away with a win.”
Eight players scored in double figures for Maine, led by 22 points from the elder statesman of the D-League, Billy Thomas, who just celebrated his 34th birthday on Dec. 23. Back in 2002, Thomas was a member of the first D-League champion, the Greenville Groove. West, Noel Felix and Darnell Lazare each scored 14 points for Maine.
Diamon Simpson and Michael Fey each scored 22 points to lead the D-Fenders. They also had 14 and 11 rebounds, respectively. Crawford, who was drafted by the Lakers in 2008 and spent time with the Knicks in 2009, added 16 points for Los Angeles.
It’s no rest for the weary with Maine taking the floor at 11:00 a.m. tomorrow against Sioux Falls. Los Angeles resurfaces at Qwest Arena Thursday to take on Erie.