Maine loses at the Expo for the first time and has an eight-game winning streak snapped.

Brandon Paul scored with 3.3 seconds left as the Canton Charge snapped the Maine Red Claws’ eight-game winning streak Sunday with a 96-95 victory in a D-League game played before a crowd of 2,415 at the Portland Expo.

It was the Claws’ first loss since falling 99-98 to the Charge on Nov. 30 in Ohio.

It was also the first loss in eight games this season for Maine at the Expo.

“We have had a lot of close games this year, a lot of times where we’ve come back from a deficit in the second half,” Red Claws Coach Scott Morrison said. “It’s a 50-game season and we’re going to be in a lot of close games. We can’t win them all but hopefully we learn enough from tonight so when we’re in close games down the stretch, we’ll pull it out.”

After leading by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, Maine clung to a 52-48 lead at the half.


Canton, which evened its six-game season series with Maine at 2-2, grabbed momentum in the third quarter. With 4:23 left in the quarter, Canton (11-7) took a 71-62 lead on the strength of a 10-0 run. The Charge led 79-74 after three quarters.

“We focused on playing two-on-two with the point guards so they couldn’t get up all those 3s,” Canton Coach Jordi Fernandez said.

Maine went 8 of 17 from 3-point range in the first half but was just 5 of 16 in the second.

The Charge also did a better job of hanging onto the ball in the second half.

“We turned the ball over 10 times in the first half and we turned it over five times in the second half,” Fernandez said.

“Even though we missed a lot (of shots), we got some good looks and our effort was much better.”


The Red Claws rallied in the fourth quarter. They held a 93-87 lead with 3:14 left but couldn’t sustain momentum.

“We don’t usually win games because we’re more talented. We win because we’re tougher and play more as a team than the opponent,” Morrison said. “I thought in the third quarter especially (Canton) came out harder. They came out to win and we came out to try to coast through. By the time we corrected it, they had momentum.”

Stephen Holt led Canton, an affiliate of the Cleveland Cavaliers, with 23 points. Paul followed with 20, Arinze Onuaku had 17 and Michael Dunigan 15.

Six players scored in double figures for the Red Claws (12-4), led by Chris Babb with 16. James Young and Tim Frazier each added 15, and Omari Johnson had 14. Andre Stringer finished with 12 and Christian Watford also had 11 for Maine.

The Boston Celtics assigned Young, a 19-year-old swingman who was the 17th pick overall in this year’s NBA draft after one season at Kentucky, to the Red Claws on Sunday morning.

“James is a terrific player, very versatile,” Frazier said.

“He got us up pretty big in the beginning. He was electrifying and got the game going.”

Between them the Celtics and Red Claws have played 44 games, and Young, who has been hampered by a shoulder injury, has played in only 11. In six games with Maine he’s averaging 21.2 points.

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