February 7

Red Claws fall to Armor

Portland looks weary in a home loss against Springfield.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

After playing Thursday in Canton, Ohio, the Maine Red Claws needed to use their depth Friday night against the Springfield Armor.

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WHO: Red Claws at Delaware 87ers

WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday

The depth was not deep enough.

Maine sputtered in spurts, especially when the subs were in, and fell to the Armor 108-101 before 2,264 at the Portland Expo.

The Armor increased their longest winning streak this season to four and improved to 10-17. In its New England rivalry, Springfield has now won four of the seven against the Red Claws (13-16) with three games to go.

Frank Gaines led Maine with 21 while Chris Babb scored 17. Chris Wright, Abdul Gaddy and Tyshawn Taylor all scored 16 points.

Taylor was the one player to contribute off the bench. The subs totaled 29 points and 10 turnovers.

Maine led 20-8 at the start. Coach Mike Taylor began subbing and the Red Claws stumbled. Springfield pounced, taking a 32-28 lead after the first quarter.

“We played back-to-back and (Thursday) in Canton, our bench gave us a great lift,” Mike Taylor said. “(On Friday) in the first quarter those guys did not bring the same performance. We need to be consistent. This is a team game and we need everybody.”

Meanwhile the Armor got marathon performances from guards Darius Johnson-Odom and Adonis Thomas.

Johnson-Odom played 45 of 48 minutes, leading all scorers with 33 points while adding six assists. He continually drove to the basket and drew fouls, sinking 14 of 17 free throws.

Thomas played 40:55 and scored 29 points.

Springfield Coach Doug Overton remained watchful of Johnson-Odom.

“He was playing phenomenal,” Overton said. “I kept asking him (if he needed to come out) and he said, ‘no coach, I’m fine.’

“He and Adonis, we need big minutes from those guys.”

Overton also wanted to contain Wright, the All-Star forward who loves to drive to the basket. Every time Wright had the ball, he had lots of company. He hit just 5 of 16 shots.

“Wright was a guy we wanted to give attention to,” Overton said. “We know they played a game (Thursday) and I wanted to make sure he saw more than just the guy guarding him.”

Springfield led the whole second half.

The Red Claws’ frontcourt was limited further when center Daniel Orton was ejected after receiving his second technical for arguing with 6:50 left to play.

Maine fans have seen the last of their team for almost three weeks. The Red Claws will play their next five games on the road. They return Feb. 27 for a game against Canton.

Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: KevinThomasPPH

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