SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The Maine Red Claws continued to struggle Thursday night, falling 97-89 to the Springfield Armor before an announced crowd of 1,545 at the MassMutual Center.

The Red Claws are 1-4 with three losses to Springfield.

With players gone to NBA camps, each coach had only nine players.

The Red Claws certainly missed their hottest player, Chris Wright, who picked up double-doubles in three of his four games this season and missed a fourth by one assist.

Also missing was Kenny Hayes, who leads Maine with 20.3 points per game.

“It was the same way for both teams, and we won’t use that as an excuse,” Red Claws Coach Dave Leitao said. “Nothing is ever etched in stone. You get up in the morning and find a way to move some pieces to attack the basket better.”

The Red Claws could have used Wright or Hayes.

Every time the team got close, a key shot would be missed and Springfield would control the rebound.

“Yeah, it hurt not having them,” Anthony Kent of Maine said, “but they’re not here and it means there’s an opportunity for someone else to step up.”

Durrell Summers led the Red Claws with 28 points. Lance Hurdle had 28 for Springfield.

“We’re losing games the same way, night in and night out,” Leitao said. “We’re not the aggressor.”

After the Red Claws closed the gap to 75-71 on a Summers shot, a basket by David Akinyooye and a three-point shot by Travis Cohn gave the Armor an 80-71 lead.

L.D. Williams and Jamar Brown then connected to cap a 7-0 run that gave the Armor an 84-71 lead with 8:08 remaining.

Jonathan Thomas fueled a 6-0 spurt in the third quarter that provided the Armor with a 56-50 lead. Kent’s layup with 5:38 left in the quarter made it 56-52.

A Cohn steal and coast-to-coast layup gave Springfield a 60-53 advantage with 4:10 left in the third quarter. The Red Claws pulled within three before Cohn drained a 3-pointer at the buzzer to make it 73-67.

The second quarter was competitive, even though each team made mistakes. Both went to more of an inside game and Maine led 45-43 at halftime.

Summers gave Maine a 45-41 lead but Brown scored from the top of the key as time expired in the half.

The Red Claws started fast and took a 6-2 lead. Maine led by as many as nine points in the first quarter after 5-foot-8 guard Tye Snow hit a jumper to give the Red Claws a 19-10 lead. Springfield chipped away and trailed 24-18 after the first quarter.

“We’ve got to stick with Coach’s philosophy and find ways to win games,” Kent said.