FRISCO, Texas – Again, the road wasn’t good for the Maine Red Claws on Friday night. Neither was their defense.

Playing in Texas for the sixth time in their last seven games, the Red Claws fell to the first-year Texas Legends 116-102 before a record crowd of 4,301 at Dr. Pepper Arena.

“That was typical of the way we’ve been playing,” Coach Austin Ainge said after the fifth consecutive loss for Maine (10-16). The Red Claws are just 3-12 away from home. “We just haven’t been able to get any stops. We’ve got to figure it out. You’re not going to win consistently like that, especially on the road.”

Maine tried zone and man-to-man defenses but couldn’t stop the Legends (11-11) inside or outside.

“We played zone and man and switch. We played small and big lineups,” Ainge said. “You’ve got to give (the Legends) credit. We don’t expect to hold them to 40 percent shooting but (54.9) is unacceptable. They pounded us down low and they kicked it out for 3s. Justin Dentmon was on fire.”

Dentmon led Texas with 27 points, 14 of those when the Legends put the game away in the third quarter by outscoring the Red Claws, 31-16.

He made all four of his 3-point attempts in that quarter, when the team was 6 of 8.

They made 15 of 32 (47 percent) from 3-point range in the game.

Maine rallied from a 24-point deficit (95-71) after three quarters to outscore Texas 31-21 in the fourth.

That was no consolation to Ainge.

“Our defense was still horrible,” he said, “so I haven’t really thought about any positives.”

DeShawn Sims put in nine of his game-high 31 points in the fourth quarter.

He broke out of a shooting slump that included a 3-of-15 game two nights earlier at Rio Grande Valley, hitting 13 of 23 from the field and 5 of 8 3-pointers.

The Red Claws had started quickly, leading by as many as six points in a back-and-forth first quarter that ended with Texas on top, 33-29.

Of the Legends’ 64 first-half points, 32 were scored in the paint and 21 on 7-of-19 3-point shooting.

Maine’s leading scorers before halftime were Sims with 15 and Boston Celtics first-round draft pick Avery Bradley with 14.

Joe Alexander led Texas, also with 15.

Maine’s time in Texas this season will end Monday, when the Red Claws play the Legends again at 8 p.m.

Ainge said, “We’ve had one practice in the last 2½ weeks, so it will be good for us to practice the next two days.”

While assimilating newcomer Antonio Anderson, who scored four points in his Red Claws debut, into the lineup, the team will be focusing on one thing: defense.


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