BAKERSFIELD, Calif. – The Maine Red Claws return home today with a little more pride and feeling much better after ending their franchise-record eight-game road losing streak.

DeShawn Sims scored 32 points and the Red Claws rallied for a 107-91 victory Sunday at the Jam Events Center, splitting their two-game series against the Bakersfield Jam.

Sims also snatched a game-high 12 rebounds, and the Claws got big contributions from both their starters and reserves, with five players scoring in double figures.

“We shared the ball well tonight and a lot of points came off assists,” said Sims, referring to the team’s 28 assists. “That motivated us to all play better together, and play better defense, too, in the second half.”

Magnum Rolle added 18 points and Jamar Smith chipped in 15. Antonio Anderson scored 12 and Stephane Lasme had 10.

After trailing by 15 after one quarter and by three at halftime, the Claws finally took their first lead of the night, 75-74, on Kenny Hayes’ layup with one minute remaining in the third quarter.

Maine went on a 9-2 run to start the fourth and kept its foot on the pedal, outscoring Bakersfield 30-15 down the stretch.

The Red Claws were just 4-19 on the road after a 117-101 loss to Bakersfield on Saturday night and hadn’t won away from home since Jan. 24 at Texas.

It didn’t look like the losing streak would end Sunday when the Jam sprinted out to 35-20 lead after one quarter.

The Red Claws struggled shooting the ball early on, knocking down just 30 percent of their shots in the first quarter.

“They shot the lights out in the first quarter and we came out a little slow on defense and didn’t shoot the ball well at all,” said Maine Coach Austin Ainge.

“It’s been a long road trip and kind of a long year. Our guys could have folded, but they came back and played unbelievable defense in the second half and made the plays we needed down the stretch.”

The Claws held Bakersfield to 39.5 percent shooting for the game after the Jam shot 61 percent in the first quarter, including 6 of 8 from 3-point range.

Drew Naymick led Bakersfield with 15 points and 10 rebounds. But the Red Claws won the battle inside, outscoring the Jam 44-28 in the paint.

“Rolle and Lasme are getting healthier, and DeShawn (Sims) just keeps getting better,” said Ainge. “And that makes us a better team.”

“We were able to execute some of things we tried to do late in (Saturday’s) game and we were able to take better care of the ball today,” said Smith. “As a team we’ve been working hard on putting it all together, and it paid off in this one.”

Bakersfield Coach Will Voigt was ejected in the closing minutes after arguing about a hard foul called on Derrick Byars as Rolle drove to the basket. Rolle was slow to get up but finished the game.


JAM 117, RED CLAWS 111: Trey Johnson scored 37 points and Bakersfield dominated inside as it held off the Red Claws.

The Jam outrebounded Maine 53-35 and had a 66-30 edge in points in the paint, but the Red Claws stayed close in a game that included 12 lead changes and 11 ties.

DeShawn Sims paced Maine with 24 points. Magnum Rolle added 22, Kenny Hayes had 17, Antonio Anderson scored 14, and Jamar Smith and Craig Winder each finished with 10.