Monday, March 10, 2014
By Kevin Thomas firstname.lastname@example.org
PORTLAND - After the Maine Red Claws game Monday afternoon, the Lady Red Claws dance team was back on the court, practicing.
Maine’s Xavier Silas drives past Springfield’s Carleton Scott in the Red Claws’ 106-92 win Monday at Portland. Silas, one of six Red Claws in double figures, had 13 points.
Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
Maine’s Scott VanderMeer, left, and Chris Wright battle for a rebound at the Expo on Monday. The Red Claws outrebounded the Armor, 46-40, en route to a 106-92 win.
Gabe Souza/Staff Photographer
THURSDAY: Red Claws at Springfield Armor, 7 p.m.
FRIDAY: Santa Cruz Warriors at Red Claws, 7 p.m.
SUNDAY: Springfield Armor at Red Claws, 3 p.m.
"Good job, ladies," said back-up center Chris Ayers as he walked through the Expo.
Everyone got compliments on Monday -- the dancers, Crusher the Mascot and the team that continues to lead the NBA D-League East Division.
The Red Claws revealed their deep lineup and cruised past the Springfield Armor 106-92, before 2,368 at the Expo.
Maine won its sixth straight game, improving to 16-8. The Red Claws are now 4-0 against their rivals from Springfield (6-15).
Three minutes into the game, Maine took the lead for good. The Armor never got closer than nine points in the second half.
"They have a very good team, very good personnel," Springfield Coach Robert MacKinnon said.
DaJuan Summers, who missed the past two games with a strained quadriceps muscle, led Maine with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
Point guard Andre Barrett also notched a double-double with 10 points and 12 assists.
With Summers back the Red Claws are showcasing a deep team, and Coach Mike Taylor used several combinations.
Center Scott VanderMeer was Maine's 10th player in the game, entering with nine minutes left in the half.
Six players scored in double figures - including Micah Downs (17 points), Chris Wright and Xavier Silas (both with 13) and Champ Oguchi (12) -- and Maine outrebounded Springfield 46-40.
"The guys did a real good job of playing together," Taylor said. "When our team plays like that on both ends, it's really a good day for us.
"We've been through a lot with our roster. We were a great team to start (the season). Then we were down to eight guys. We're starting to build it back up, now that we're getting healthy."
Center Fab Melo (nine points and five rebounds) played only 25 minutes because of foul trouble, but Maine's twin 6-foot-8 forwards, Summers and Wright, gave the Red Claws an athletic front court.
"Once we got the chemistry down, we've been clicking," said Wright, who missed three weeks with a concussion.
"Especially with somebody like DaJuan. He's played in the NBA, knows the game well and shoots the ball phenomenally."
Springfield did not shoot well (37 percent). The Armor's strength is normally their offensive rebounds, but they only got 11 -- the same as Maine.
"They were very physical with us and we didn't answer that physicality and finish plays," MacKinnon said.
NOTES: The Red Claws are one victory away from tying their longest win streak (seven games, set in 2009-10). ...
Maine plays the Armor again on Thursday, in Springfield. The Red Claws return to Portland this weekend for games Friday (7 p.m.) and Sunday (3 p.m.).
In D-League news, Kevin Young is no longer coaching the Iowa Energy (6-15), which was swept in Portland this past weekend. The Energy announced that the move was a "mutual agreement" between Young and the team. Assistant Bruce Wilson is serving as the interim head coach.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: