Frazier Leads Red Claws In Return
Finishes with 27 points, 9 rebounds and 16 assists for Maine
Portland, ME- The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, got a huge performance from Tim Frazier in his first game back from a second NBA call-up, missing a triple-double by one rebound in the 111-103 win over the Grand Rapids Drive on Saturday night at the Portland Expo Building.
Frazier opened the game with a floater in the lane for the Red Claws (24-11), answered by a Malcom Lee three pointer. The teams would trade baskets throughout most of the period, but the Red Claws pulled away, shooting 13-20 (65%) in the quarter. Quincy Miller, on assignment from the Detroit Pistons, buried a three at the buzzer for the Drive (17-18) to cut the lead to 38-33 after one.
Grand Rapids turned up the offensive and defensive pressure in the second, shooting 14-26 (54%) while holding the Red Claws to 9-22 (41%) en route to a 36 point frame, led by recently acquired Kevin Murphy (eight in the quarter) and seven from Adonis Thomas. The Drive held Maine to 25, including Omari Johnson’s 10, Rodney McGruder with seven (all consecutive) and Frazier handed out six assists. The visitors headed into the locker room with a 69-63 lead.
Turnabout was fair play in the third, as the Red Claws went 11-21 (52%) for 26 points while holding Grand Rapids to 4-20 shooting (20%). The Drive scored only 13 in the quarter, which was one point off of a Red Claws defensive record for the third. Frazier and Ralph Sampson each scored six and Johnson added five in the quarter. The home side could have had more if not for two monstrous blocks from Hasheem Thabeet. A McGruder buzzer beating three sent the game into the final quarter with an 89-81 Red Claws lead.
McGruder picked up right where he left off, recording the first five points of the fourth. Lee had six in the quarter for the Drive, and Murphy added nine, but Frazier scored 10 of the final 12 points to secure the Maine victory.
Murphy led the Drive with 22 points. Thomas (18 points, seven rebounds), Lee (15 points, six assists), Kelsey Barlow (13) and Thabeet (eight points, eight rebounds, three blocks) were the leading performers for Grand Rapids.
Frazier, who was one rebound shy of a triple-double, led all scorers (27 points, 16 assists, nine rebounds). Also key in the win were Johnson (25 points, six rebounds), Chris Babb (16 points, seven rebounds), McGruder (15) and Sampson (11).
The Red Claws return to action on Thursday, March 5th when they host the league leading Austin Spurs. Grand Rapids is home against the Iowa Energy on Wednesday, March 4th.