The walk downstairs at halftime could not have been pleasant for the Maine Red Claws, who knew their less-than-inspired performance would displease their coach, Scott Morrison . Sure, fewer than 200 fans had braved the snowstorm to show up at the Expo. And yes, their D-League all-star guard Marcus Georges-Hunt had departed Wednesday night after receiving a 10-day contract from the Miami Heat. Whatever Morrison said, the Claws came out firing on all cylinders in the second half, overcoming a double-digit deficit to beat the Northern Arizona Suns 97-91 on Thursday night. Ryan Kelly (6'11''-PF-91, college: Duke) scored 32 points to lead the comeback. Jalen Jones (6'7''-G/F-93, college: Texas A&M) contributed 21 points and 15 rebounds. Abdel Nader (6'6''-F-93, college: Iowa St.) (16 points) put the Claws ahead for good on a breakaway dunk midway through the fourth quarter that made it 87-85. Maine (21-12) left by bus for Westchester after the game and will return to the Expo to face Grand Rapids on Sunday afternoon. Northern Arizona dropped to 14-16. 'Coach really fired us up,' Kelly said of Morrison's words at intermission. 'He challenged us to do the dirty work out there, make the extra pass, make the extra box-out, and just do the little things that are necessary to win. They were outworking us there, especially in the second quarter.' The Suns took a 54-41 lead on the strength of a 13-0 run keyed by the outside shooting of Xavier Silas (6'5''-SG-88, college: N.Illinois) and Elijah Millsap (6'6''-G-87, college: UAB). It was 58-48 at the break thanks to a Kelly 3-pointer. 'I can't really repeat much of what I said,' Morrison said after the game. 'Just really disappointed in the guys' effort. There's no excuse when you get outworked. They bullied us. They punked us. They outworked us in the first half and our guys responded by not playing very smart.' Northern Arizona took 13 more shots than Maine in the first half, forcing 10 turnovers and earning a 12-2 advantage in offensive rebounds while shooting 43.8 percent from deep (7 of 16). In the second half, the Claws cut their turnovers in half and allowed the Suns only four offensive rebounds. Northern Arizona made only 1 of 14 shots from beyond the arc. 'In the second half we were tougher and made smarter plays, and played more as a team,' Morrison said. 'It gets a little frustrating at times when it's not technical things that are beating you.' Northern Arizona maintained its lead throughout the third quarter until a late flurry sparked by the newest Claw, point guard Josh Hagins, cut the margin to 78-73 entering the fourth. With Georges-Hunt called up and Demetrius Jackson (6'1''-PG-94, college: Notre Dame) returning to the Celtics, Hagins will have more opportunities, as will Cameron Ayers (6'5''-G-91, college: Bucknell) and Arthur Edwards (6'6''-G, college: Alabama). Jackson had a tough shooting night Thursday (0 of 6 from deep, six points). Edwards hit a 3-pointer that made it 83-83, then bailed out Jones by blocking a shot from behind after Jones' bad pass led to a turnover. 'If we can get him playing consistently,' Morrison said of Edwards, who had six rebounds and three blocks, 'he'll be a key guy for us to finish the season off here.' That block set up Nader's momentum-grabbing dunk, a twisting behind-the-head flush. Two minutes later, closely guarded, Nader drained a 3-pointer for a 90-85 lead. Kelly followed with a one-handed dunk in traffic and a tough bank shot to put the Claws comfortably ahead. 'It's hard not to notice,' Kelly said of the sparse crowd. 'Obviously we appreciate the people who came, but it was going to be hard on a night like (Thursday). We barely made it here so we couldn't expect many fans. 'But you have to block that out. You have to have pride. When you step out on the court, you have to play your best regardless of the situation. That's what professionals do.' 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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