Monday, March 10, 2014
There were times that MarShon Brooks looked tired, running up and down the court for the Maine Red Claws.
Maine’s Zeke Marshall drives to the basket as Tulsa’s Jon Kreft moves in on defense in Thursday night’s game at the Portland Expo. The Red Claws pulled away to start the third quarter and improved to 7-6 with their second straight win.
Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer
WHO: Springfield Armor at Maine Red Claws
WHEN: 7 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Portland Expo
But there were a lot of times that Brooks looked like the NBA guard he is.
Brooks, on loan from the Boston Celtics, scored 27 points to lead Maine to a 105-94 victory over the Tulsa 66ers Thursday night, before 2,255 at the Portland Expo.
The Red Claws, NBA D-League affiliate of the Celtics, improved to 7-6. Tulsa dropped to 2-13.
Besides the effort of Brooks, a 6-foot-5 guard, Maine got the usual production from guard Frank Gaines (22 points) and forward Chris Wright (19).
Brooks, 24, is a third-year NBA pro from Providence College. Initially drafted by the Celtics in 2011, he was traded to the Nets. After two seasons with the Nets (8.5-point average in 129 games), Brooks returned to the Celtics in the offseason megadeal with Brooklyn, which sent Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce to the Nets.
But Brooks has found little playing time with Boston – 61 minutes in nine games; thus his appearance with the Red Claws to get some game action.
“Great opportunity to get minutes,” said Brooks, who will stay with the team through the weekend.
“But it was tough. I was cramping up a lot. My conditioning is pretty bad. I was huffing and puffing.”
Besides hitting 3-of-4 3-pointers, Brooks often drove to the basket in the first half with a series of spin moves and slashes.
“I was settling for jumpers in the second half,” Brooks said. “I was fatigued.”
The game featured two contrasting halves. The first two quarters featured back-and-forth play with 15 ties and 12 lead changes. No team led by more than four points. Point guard Marcel Anderson’s drive for a layup at the buzzer gave Maine a 47-45 halftime lead.
The Red Claws began the third quarter with eight straight points and a 55-45 lead. The 66ers never sniffed the lead again.
The Red Claws return to the Expo at 7 p.m. Saturday against Springfield. They play Tulsa again at 5 p.m. Sunday in Portland.
NOTES: Celtics GM Danny Ainge said in a Boston radio interview that Rajon Rondo approached him about playing for the Red Claws. “I’m not sure when he would do that,” Ainge said, “but that’s probably the next step.” Rondo told Celtics reporters Thursday he was open to playing for Maine. … Red Claws point guard Kam Taylor recently won the starting point guard job, but now he is out for the season. Taylor, who was in the Celtics’ training camp this year, has a torn ACL, which he suffered last week. Originally diagnosed as a hyperextended knee, further tests revealed the tear … Forward Romero Osby, inactive with a shoulder injury, said he is confident he will be back this weekend.
Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at: