No reinforcements from the Celtics. Only nine players dressed because of injuries. A quality opponent that had won six of seven and, two weeks ago in Ohio, handed Maine a double-digit defeat.

Sunday night provided a good test for the Maine Red Claws.

They passed it with flying colors.

Omari Johnson scored 24 points and Tim Frazier doled out 13 assists as the Red Claws beat the Canton Charge 96-82 in NBA Development League action before a crowd of 2,200 at the Portland Expo.

The victory is the fifth in five home games for the Red Claws (9-2), who own the league’s best record and are off to the best start in franchise history.

“I told the team that I’m breaking the season into five 10-game segments,” said Claws Coach Scott Morrison. “So in my mind, we’re 1-0 in this segment. If you can have the discipline to do that over the course of the 50 games (of the regular season), then hopefully we’ll have a pretty good record.”

If not, Morrison said, “it’s too long of a season. We could still be 9-41 if you don’t take care of business.”

Canton (7-5) returned to the Expo for the first time since the home opener in late November, but decidedly less fresh. The Charge beat the Delaware 87ers in Ohio on Saturday night and then boarded an early-morning connecting flight through Philadelphia and touched down in Portland only four hours before tipping off late Sunday afternoon.

Tired or not, the Charge didn’t get any smaller. Canton’s three big men all outweigh the brawniest Red Claw, 244-pound Ralph Sampson III.

“They rotate three huge guys,” said Johnson, a slender (220 pounds) 6-foot-9 forward. “That’s pretty tough on us with one of our guys (Christian Watford) out. So we expected a tough battle on the inside and that’s what we got.”

Maine won the rebounding battle, 42-36, with Johnson, Asauhn Dixon-Tatum and Chris Babb each grabbing seven and Sampson six. Frazier and guard Sherwood Brown each had five.

From outside, the Red Claws dominated. Johnson poured in a half dozen 3-pointers and his teammates added another seven as the team shot 48.1 percent from beyond the arc. It would have been an even 50 percent if Brown’s toe hadn’t been on the line for one (it was changed after a review several minutes later).

The Claws closed out the half with a 19-8 run to take a 53-38 lead into the break. They stretched it to 22 in the third quarter before Canton made a run in the fourth, whittling the margin to nine points on the third of three Steve Weingarten 3-pointers.

Frazier made sure the Charge came no closer. First he knocked down a 3-pointer, then used a hesitation move to drive for a lay-up after Maine made a defensive stop and the cushion never again dropped below a dozen.

“Tim’s three took a little bit of pressure off the guys,” Morrison said. “I think in the last game against Delaware we got really tight when they started coming back. It wasn’t that we played poorly, but we missed some open shots. Tim hitting that shot let everyone take a deep breath and relax and keep playing to win instead of playing not to lose.”

Johnson, whose 40 minutes of action are the most by a Red Claws player this season, added two more treys to finish off Maine’s scoring.

“We love to have (Celtics rookies James Young and Dwight Powell),” Frazier said of the players most often sent by Boston to Maine. “But we’re still a good team without them.”

NOTES: Guard Luke Loucks, waived by the Red Claws on Monday, signed with Erie and will return to the Expo on Friday. … Rodney McGruder, who injured his groin in the preseason intrasquad scrimmage, was on the cusp of returning when he re-injured himself in practice. “We’re being careful with him,” Morrison said. “We’re hoping to have him, if not soon, then for a long stretch where he’s healthy.” … Watford sustained a lower-leg injury a game last weekend against Sioux Falls. He is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.