PORTLAND – There is no place like home for the Red Claws.

After losing four straight on the road, Maine returned to the shiny parquet floor at the Portland Expo to snap the skid with a 90-80 comeback win against the Springfield Armor.

The Red Claws are 10-5 at home compared with a dismal 3-16 on the road.

“I think there’s times on the road that if things don’t go our way we fold,” said Maine Coach Austin Ainge. “Our guys were determined tonight and turned things around.”

DeShawn Sims, the game-high scorer with 25, agreed. “It’s the home support. We bring a different type of energy here. It was that factor,” Sims said.

Maine trailed the Armor early by as many as 10 points.

The Red Claws were plagued by turnovers until a 20-8 run to start the third quarter gave them their first lead since early in the game.

Newly acquired Bamba Fall put in a layup and Jamar Smith was 3 of 3 from the foul line to give Maine a 63-59 lead, but the Armor pulled ahead again 66-65 at the end of the third.

The Red Claws opened the final period with a 3-pointer by Mario West and never trailed again.

West finished with 19 points and Smith scored 18.

Fall, who joined the team on Thursday, came a rebound short of a double-double, with 13 points and nine rebounds.

“We’ve had so much trouble defending the pick and roll and Bamba was really a force back there,” said Ainge. “He didn’t get every rebound, but he got enough that allowed our guards to defend.”

Fall, who hadn’t played a game this season, said he’s feeling his game coming back.

“I feel good. I haven’t played in a while but I’m feeling confident,” he said. “I’m learning the offense and trying to focus on defense.”

Springfield threatened late in the fourth quarter, pulling within five points, but Maine closed with a 6-1 run.

“We need to go on a run here (to get into the playoffs),” said Ainge. “We thought we had fixed things last time we won a few at home, and then went on the road and it fell apart.”

Springfield, which returns for a game Sunday, has never won at the Expo and is the only team Maine will play three times in a row during the regular season.

“It can get chippy sometimes, but three in a row is good,” said Ainge. “That’s our playoff format.”

NOTES: Two injured Red Claws were on the sideline Friday night: Magnum Rolle (knee) and Stephane Lasme (heel). Both had surgery last fall and are ahead of schedule to return, General Manager Jon Jennings said. Lasme is two to three months ahead of schedule: “As long as everything continues to go well, we hope to have him back here in the next several weeks,” Jennings said. Rolle worked out Friday and is expected back even sooner. … Former Red Claw Tony Bobbitt returned to the Expo. After being traded to Springfield last season, he had a season-ending ankle injury. He was signed again last Monday.

Staff Writer Jenn Menendez can be contacted at 791-6426 or at:

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