Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge sat courtside at the Portland Expo for a second straight Maine Red Claws game Friday night.
At times Ainge relaxed, talking to Red Claws President Bill Ryan Jr.
Other times, like when Celtics players were on the court, Ainge leaned forward and focused on the play.
Maine, the NBA D-League affiliate for Boston, continues to be a place for Celtics to work off some rust or prove their stuff.
And if Maine can also enjoy a win, all the better. The Red Claws topped the Delaware 87ers 111-100, before a crowd of 2,347 at the Expo. Maine led by 18 after the third quarter and was never in trouble.
Forward Chris Wright led Maine with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Celtics backup center Vitor Faverani again made his 6-foot-11, 260-pound presence felt inside, recording 16 points and 12 rebounds.
“He’s big and skilled,” Ainge said afterward. The Red Claws team “gives him an opportunity to play. You can’t replace real-game action.
“Real minutes are tough to come by with the Celtics right now. We’re loaded at the big position with six guys.”
Maine improved to 11-14. Delaware, which had won 4 of 5, dropped to 7-21.
This was Faverani’s second straight appearance with Maine. Joining him was temporary Celtics guard Vander Blue, who recently signed with Boston on a 10-day contract.
While Faverani was getting some needed playing time – he’s played 37 NBA games, averaging 13 minutes – Blue was playing to impress and stay on with Boston. Friday was the final day of his contract.
“We didn’t get a chance to give him an opportunity to get him on the court (in the NBA),” Ainge said, explaining Blue’s presence in Maine.
Blue notched 13 points and four assists, but Ainge said the Celtics won’t renew his contract. “We’ll continue to monitor him,” Ainge said.
The interesting aspect to Blue’s appearance against Delaware is that he was on the 87ers until the Celtics signed him Jan. 22.
Such is the transient nature of D-League rosters, like former popular Red Claws forward Tiny Gallon, now playing for Delaware (eight points on Friday).
Maine won this one by virtue of the 3-point shot, making 15 of 28 to just 3 of 18 by Delaware.
Frank Gaines continued his magic off the bench with 19 points (3 for 5 on 3-pointers). Chris Babb (nine points) also hit three 3-pointers. Damen Bell-Holter scored 15 points and point guard Abdul Gaddy had six assists.
Faverani will be back in a Maine uniform Saturday night.
“I like it,” he said. “When I come here, I improve my basketball and gain confidence.”
NOTES: The Red Claws activated newly acquired guard Tyler Brown, a rookie from Illinois State. To make room, guard Marcel Anderson was deactivated, although he remains part of the team. … Maine will have to make another roster move next week when guard Tyshawn Taylor comes aboard. Taylor was in his second season in the NBA when Brooklyn traded him to the New Orleans Pelicans, who released him. The Red Claws signed him, and he is expected to join the team Sunday. … The Red Claws earlier announced that Mike Taylor was named head coach of the Polish national men’s team. He will guide the team this summer.
Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: