Lindsey Leads Celtics Past Clippers
By Maine Celtics Staff /March 6, 2023
ONTARIO, CA – The Maine Celtics snapped a three-game losing-streak as they topped the Ontario Clippers, 120-108 behind 31 points from Scottie Lindsey.
Lindsey led Maine (15-10) with 31 points on 8-10 shooting from the floor and 6-8 from beyond the arc, adding three rebounds and three assists. Luka Šamanić posted 19 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks for his 19th double-double of the season. Denzel Valentine finished with 17 points and six rebounds. Kamar Baldwin had 14 points and five rebounds. Two-Way big Mfiondu Kabengele scored 13 points and Two-Way guard JD Davison logged 12 points, five boards and nine assists. Tony Snell contributed 10 points and 11 boards for his third double-double of the season.
Two-Way guard Xavier Moon and Los Angeles assignee Jason Preston both scored 27 points to lead Ontario (12-12); Moon had seven assists and Preston tallied six boards and five assists. Two-Way big Moussa Diabate added 15 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Keaton Wallace recorded 10 points, six rebounds, eight assists and five steals. Greg Brown III had 11 points.
Valentine’s finger roll kicked off the afternoon for Maine before Diabate went coast-to-coast and put back his own miss for Ontario’s first bucket. A review for a flagrant foul prompted and early timeout after less than three minutes of play, with the score tied, 4-4. Preston and Moon powered a 9-0 Ontario run out of the timeout before Davison blew by his man for a layup to end it. The Celtics countered with a 12-4 run to get within one, 17-16, and an aggressive offense that worked for paint touches and shared the ball propelled them to a 28-27 lead after one.
Moon’s offense continued to give Ontario a boost as they regained control early in the second, leading 37-32 as they shot over 50 percent from the floor to Maine’s 40 percent. Both teams were moving the ball offensively and defending with physicality all game, but the Clippers’ hard closeouts led to a pair of 1-for-3 free throws for Lindsey in the second; he shot 3-4 from deep and scored 15 points in the first half to lead Maine. Djordije Jovanovic knocked down a transition three just before the buzzer to give the Clippers a 59-56 halftime lead.
Maine scored four-straight out of the locker room, and Baldwin followed up with a couple of tough finishes to give the Celtics a 64-61 lead by the first timeout break of the third. Valentine hit a pair of triples to put Maine up nine, but the Clippers steadily chipped into the deficit to trail 70-66 with 5:09 to go in the quarter. Ontario ripped off a 9-0 run to go ahead 77-73, but the Celtics fired back with a 9-0 run of their own to close the third and retake the lead, 82-77.
Ontario hung around at the start of the fourth, pulling within one possession before Davison roped a textbook one-handed cross-court pass to Baldwin for a corner three and then Snell converted an and-one to give Maine a 90-81 lead. The Clippers’ offense kept them close for a few more minutes, but the combination of Davison’s downhill threat and Lindsey’s spacing put it away for the Celtics. Moon nailed back-to-back threes in Ontario’s last stand, but Kabengele’s and-one and another three from Lindsey quickly got their lead back beyond double-digits. The Celtics stayed composed down the stretch, not allowing the Clippers a late run as they snapped a three-game skid with a 120-108 victory.
The Celtics are set to return to the Expo for a two-game series with the Long Island Nets on March 9 and 12.