After three crisp practices this week, Maine Red Claws Coach Scott Morrison felt his team was ready to take on division rival Delaware in the first of a two-game series Thursday night at the Portland Expo. The Claws worked on two areas that proved troublesome lately: turnovers and rebounding. Turns out they still need work. The 87ers held Maine without a basket for the opening five minutes in the D-League game and never trailed on the way to a 109-90 victory before a crowd of 1,410. 'I was real happy with the week,' Morrison said. 'I thought we had great practices. Then we go out there in the first quarter and don't execute things we've done for three days straight, which is the frustrating thing.' Delaware (16-13) forced seven turnovers in the first quarter and 11 by halftime to help end a three-game losing streak and pull within two games of the first-place Claws (19-12) in the Atlantic Division. Shawn Long (6'11''-F-93, college: La-Lafayette) pulled down 11 of Delaware's 14 offensive rebounds (compared to five for Maine's entire team) as the Sevens wound up taking 21 more shots than Maine. 'That's our Achilles heel right now,' Morrison said. 'We're combining turnovers with bad rebounding. It's a real killer.' Long led six double-digit scorers for Delaware with 22 points to go with 16 rebounds. Dionte Christmas (6'5''-G-86, college: Temple) added 21 points. The bulk of Maine's scoring came from three players. Jalen Jones (6'7''-G/F-93, college: Texas A&M) had 28 points, Ryan Kelly (6'11''-PF-91, college: Duke) 27 and Abdel Nader, back from missing a game because of a hip pointer, had 19. Three starters combined for two points (Demetrius Jackson on 1-of-6 shooting). Marcus Georges-Hunt had a rough 0-of-7 night. After Nader, the next- highest scorer was Cameron Ayers (6'5''-G-91, college: Bucknell) with six points on a pair of long balls, one of them hurried in the final second of the opening quarter. 'We're at our best when we have a balanced scoring attack,' Morrison said. 'That's how we've been every season here. This year, sometimes we've gotten away with one or two guys having big games, but over the course of 50 games you need to have a balanced attack in this league to be successful.' After trailing by as many as a dozen in the first quarter, Maine battled back to 47-44 late in the second and Nader had an open look from the right corner for a tying 3-pointer that rimmed out. The Claws never came closer. Delaware scored the final six points of the first half and the first two baskets of the second to build a margin that never again slipped below 10 points. 'I think the positive I took out of it,' Jones said, 'is that even though they were aggressive and making a lot of shots, we were also missing a lot of open shots that we usually make. I thought we kept fighting until the end. It just wasn't our night.' The game marked the third for Kelly, who played sparingly for Atlanta earlier in the season. 'My legs are under me a little bit better,' he said. 'I think I'll continue to get there.' The teams play again Saturday night at the Expo. The Claws won their first meeting 95-91 in Delaware a month ago after draining 10 3-pointers in the opening quarter. 'They're a very good team,' Delaware Coach Eugene Burroughs said. 'They have a bunch of guys who can really shoot the ball. They do a great job attacking the rim. They're a tough team to guard because of their ability to shoot the 3.' Courtesy of: pressherald.com
Skyforce top Energy 132-99 in home finale - 21 hours ago
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The Sioux Falls Skyforce (28-20) put on one, final show for their home crowd this season, scoring more than 30 points in every quarter on their way to defeating the Iowa Energy (11-37) at the Sanford Pentagon on Tuesday night. The Energy's largest lead was one point on multiple occasions early in the first quarter, but the Skyforce built a four-point lead heading into the second quarter and never looked back, leading by as many as 35 points down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Sioux Fa... [read more]
The Sioux Falls Skyforce (28-20) put on one, final show for their home crowd this season, scoring more than 30 points in every quarter on their way to defeating the Iowa Energy (11-37) at the Sanford Pentagon on Tuesday night. The Energy's largest lead was one point on multiple occasions early in the first quarter, but the Skyforce built a four-point lead heading into the second quarter and never looked back, leading by as many as 35 points down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Sioux Falls didn't look like a team that had just been eliminated from playoff contention a night ago. The team played with energy and enthusiasm from whistle to whistle, and pitched in one of it's best shooting performances of the season. The Skyforce shot 50.5 percent from the field, including a blistering 54.3 percent from beyond the three-point line, making 19 of 35 attempts from long range. Henry Walker (6'6''-G/F-87, college: Kansas St.) came off the bench to lead the offensive attack for Sioux Falls, scoring 17 of his game-high 22 points in the first half alone. Walker also collected a team-high 12 rebounds in a game that saw three different Skyforce players record double-doubles. Malik Beasley (6'5''-G-96, college: Florida St.) (22 points and 10 rebounds) matched Walker's game-high point total while recording his third career double-double while finishing with a +/- stat of plus-32 in the contest. Keith Benson (6'11''-C-88, college: Oakland) (14 points and 11 rebounds) continued his dominance over Iowa, managing to tally double-doubles in all four matchups with the Energy this season. Benson now has a league-leading 31 double-doubles on the season. Larry Drew II (6'2''-PG-90, college: UCLA) II (16 points, eight assists and seven rebounds) quietly approached triple-double numbers in just 25 minutes off the bench, while Patrick Miller (6'1''-PG-92, college: Tennessee St.) (16 points), Greg Whittington (14 points) and Jabril Trawick (11 points) rounded out those scoring in double figures in the win for Sioux Falls. All 10 players to enter the game for the Skyforce finished with a +/- stat line of plus-10 or higher in the well-rounded victory. Sioux Falls held the Energy to just 99 points on the night, marking the first time they have held opponents under 100 since defeating the Northern Arizona Suns 96-94 in double-overtime on Christmas Day. Jarell Martin (6'10''-F-94, college: LSU) (19 points) led Iowa in scoring as six players scored in double figures, while Matt Costello (6'9''-F-93, college: Michigan St.) (13 points and 11 rebounds) and Wes Washpun (6'1''-PG-93, college: N.Iowa) (11 points and 10 assists) both tallied double-doubles in the loss. The win tonight marks the first winning season the Skyforce have had against the Iowa Energy since the team came into existence, finishing the season series with a record of 3-1 against their Midwest rivals. In previous years, the best Sioux Falls has done is tie the season series, including last season when the Energy accounted for three of the Skyforce's 10 losses. Now with 28 wins, the Skyforce have won more games than any other non-playoff team in NBA D-League history, as multiple teams have finished with a record of 27-23 and have missed the playoffs. Sioux Falls will now finish their season on the road, traveling to Oklahoma City to take on the Blue on Thursday, March 30 and then traveling to Austin to take on the Spurs in their 2016-17-season finale on Saturday, April 1. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
Maine Red Claws land Guerschon Yabusele - 1 day ago
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Maine Red Claws landed 22-year old French power forward Guerschon Yabusele (201-95). He started the season at Shanghai Sharks in Chinese CBA league. In 43 games he averaged impressive 20.9ppg, 9.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg and 1.0bpg this season. The last season Yabusele played at SPO Rouen in French ProA where in 34 games he had 11.5ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.1apg and 1.1spg. It was a very successful season in his career as he was selected to Eurobasket.com All-French ProA Honorable Mention. Last year Yabu... [read more]
Maine Red Claws landed 22-year old French power forward Guerschon Yabusele (201-95). He started the season at Shanghai Sharks in Chinese CBA league. In 43 games he averaged impressive 20.9ppg, 9.4rpg, 2.0apg, 1.3spg and 1.0bpg this season. The last season Yabusele played at SPO Rouen in French ProA where in 34 games he had 11.5ppg, 6.8rpg, 1.1apg and 1.1spg. It was a very successful season in his career as he was selected to Eurobasket.com All-French ProA Honorable Mention. Last year Yabusele was drafted by Boston Celtics (NBA) in first round (16th overall). He represented France at the European Championships U20 in Lignano Sabbiadoro (Italy) two years ago. Yabusele's team got to the Semifinals and his stats at that event were 9 games: 9.2ppg, 6.6rpg, 1.0spg, Blocks-5 (1.3bpg), FGP: 45.6%, 3PT: 23.5%, FT: 63.3%. Yabusele has played also professionally in France (Chorale de Roanne).
Warriors clinch playoff birth with win over Stars - 2 days ago
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The Santa Cruz Warriors (30-19) defeated the Salt Lake City Stars (14-34) 128-123 on Monday night at Lifetime Activities Center. With tonight's victory, the Warriors clinch their fourth playoff birth in the last five seasons. Jabari Brown (6'4''-G/F-92, college: Missouri) who was named "NBA D-League Performer of the Week" earlier today came off the bench to lead all scorers with 29 points for the Warriors. Damian Jones (7'0''-C-95, college: Vanderbilt), on assignment from the Golden State... [read more]
The Santa Cruz Warriors (30-19) defeated the Salt Lake City Stars (14-34) 128-123 on Monday night at Lifetime Activities Center. With tonight's victory, the Warriors clinch their fourth playoff birth in the last five seasons. Jabari Brown (6'4''-G/F-92, college: Missouri) who was named "NBA D-League Performer of the Week" earlier today came off the bench to lead all scorers with 29 points for the Warriors. Damian Jones (7'0''-C-95, college: Vanderbilt), on assignment from the Golden State Warriors, contributed 20 points and 6 rebounds, while James Southerland notched a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Alex Hamilton (6'4''-G-93, college: Louisiana Tech, agency: Three Eye Sports) came off the bench to add 15 points and 7 assists for Santa Cruz. The Stars were paced by Quincy Ford who finished with 25 points and 5 rebounds. Brice Johnson came off-the-bench to contribute 18 points, while JJ O'Brien and Henry Sims added 15 points apiece. Jermaine Taylor (6'5''-G-86, college: Cent.Florida) and Tyrone Wallace (6'5''-G-94, college: California) both scored 12 points apiece for Salt Lake City. The Warriors took a quick seven-point advantage to open the game, though Salt Lake City would respond by outscoring the visitors 15-4 to secure a four-point surplus with 5:04 remaining in the period. Back-and-forth scoring ensued through the remainder of the frame, with the Warriors holding a 33-29 lead at the end of the quarter. Santa Cruz opened the second frame on a 10-4 run to reclaim the advantage early, and would lead by as many as 12 points in the quarter. The Warriors would outscore the Stars by 5 points in the period to hold a 68-59 lead at the half. Salt Lake City came out of the break with high-energy play, outscoring the Warriors 20-9 to take back the lead with 5:58 remaining in the period. The Stars would lead by as many as 8 points, shooting 65.2% from the field and 60% from beyond-the-arc, en route to outscoring the Warriors 38-26 in the frame. The hosts' gritty play would earn them a three-point advantage heading into the final period. The fourth quarter consisted 6 lead changes and 2 ties, with neither team leading by more than two possessions. A driving layup from Alex Hamilton with 6:22 left in regulation gave the Warriors a lead that they would not relinquish, despite the Stars coming within one possession with 7.0 seconds remaining. Courtesy of: oursportscentral.com
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