December 31, 2013

Red Claws hope Expo provides relief

Maine, which has lost four straight, will play four home games in six days.

From Staff Reports

The Maine Red Claws need a boost and hope a crammed homestand will help.

TUESDAY’S GAME

WHO: Delaware 76ers vs. Maine Red Claws

WHEN: 1 p.m.

WHERE: Portland Expo

The Red Claws will play four home games in six days at the Portland Expo, starting at 1 p.m. Tuesday against the Delaware 87ers.

Maine (5-6) is on a four-game losing streak, including an 0-3 trip.

But the Expo hasn’t proved a home-floor advantage, with the Red Claws 0-3 this month at home.

The Red Claws continue to be led by forward Chris Wright (averaging 22.2 points and 8.1 rebounds). Shooting guard Frank Gaines is scoring 17.2 points a game.

Maine hasn’t been the same team after losing shooting guard Jermaine Taylor to a season-ending knee injury in the second game.

The Red Claws are additionally short-handed with forward Romero Osby (shoulder) and point guard Kam Taylor (hyperextended knee) out with injuries.

Delaware (3-11) is a new team in the D-League, owned by its parent club, the Philadelphia 76ers. The 76ers bought a folded D-League team, the Utah Flash, and moved it to the University of Delaware’s arena in Newark.

The team’s unique nickname comes from Delaware’s place in U.S. history as the first state to ratify the Constitution in 1787. The team is promoting a shortened nickname – the “Sevens” – much like the 76ers are often called the Sixers.

Delaware has one NBA player – 6-foot-5 rookie point guard Lorenzo Brown of North Carolina State. Brown was a second-round pick of the Minnesota Timberwolves but was cut in preseason camp. The 76ers signed Brown and he stayed with the team until last week, when he was sent to Delaware.

All of the teams coming to Portland this week sport losing records. The Tulsa 66ers (2-12) are playing here Thursday and Sunday. Springfield (5-6) plays at the Expo on Saturday.

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