Tim Frazier played point guard at Penn State. Aaron Craft played the same position at Ohio State.

Both finished their college careers last spring and, after spending training camp with the Boston Celtics (Frazier) and Golden State Warriors (Craft), now play in the NBA Development League.

Each was his team’s leading scorer Friday night as Craft’s Santa Cruz Warriors beat Frazier’s Maine Red Claws 101-88 before 1,989 at the Portland Expo.

“He got me twice last year,” said Craft, whose line of 22 points, five assists and four rebounds came on the heels of a scoreless performance earlier this week in a two-point loss at Fort Wayne. “So this was nice.”

Frazier scored 23 points for the Red Claws, who were bidding to become the first team in D-League history to open the season with 16 victories in their first 19 games. Instead they remain tied with the 2008-09 Iowa Energy with starts of 15-4.

“I did not know that,” Craft said. “Obviously, they’re a really good team and Tim’s a great player. Knowing him from Penn State and knowing what he could do, that was one of our biggest focuses in the game. He makes them go.”

Maine’s only lead came at 3-2 when Chris Babb sank a 3-pointer in the opening minute. Santa Cruz (12-6) led by five after one quarter, opened the second with a 14-0 run to make it 42-23 and never again allowed the cushion to sink below five points.

“We didn’t come out sharp,” said Babb, who finished with 18 points and five rebounds. “We didn’t come out executing our plays. They got some easy shots, got some (baskets) on transition, similar to how we’ve been winning games.

“We had a good couple stretches, but overall we need to play a better game (Saturday).”

Santa Cruz and Maine play again Saturday night at the Expo before the Red Claws head to California for the five-day D-League Showcase that begins Thursday in Santa Cruz.

The Warriors entered the game with the league’s best defense, at least in terms of opposing shooting percentage (42.3). On Friday, they held Maine to a season-low 35.6 percent and outrebounded the Red Claws 55-34.

James Michael McAdoo and Golden State rookie Ognjen Kuzmic, a 7-footer from Bosnia/Herzegovina, each pulled down 12 rebounds. Asauhn Dixon-Tatum led Maine with six.

“I thought the biggest thing was rebounding,” Maine Coach Scott Morrison said. “They took care of their glass pretty well and also got bunch of second chances, especially in the first half.”

The Red Claws have been able to rally from deficits as high as 17 and still win, but not when missing 24 of their 36 attempts from beyond the 3-point line, as was the case Friday night.

The Claws made it 64-59 midway through the third quarter but came no closer than eight points (84-76) in the fourth.

“We got it (relatively close) and couldn’t get one to fall,” Morrison said.

“We took a couple bad ones and before we knew it, (the margin) was right back to double digits.”

NOTES: Omari Johnson added 14 points on 4-of-18 shooting from the field. … Rodney McGruder made his Claws debut after being sidelined since the season opener with a groin injury. He entered with just under six minutes left in the first quarter, fed Babb for a 3-pointer and hit a leaning bank shot over Craft. That would be McGruder’s only basket in nine attempts. “I didn’t think it was his best effort, but it was great just to have him out there,” Morrison said. “Once he gets a few more sessions like that he’ll be a big contributor for us.” … The Celtics were working on a deal to send Jeff Green to Memphis and completed a trade that sent Brandan Wright to Phoenix, which could mean open an opportunity for rookie James Young, who averaged 22.4 points in eight games with Maine. “It’s nice when you have a Celtic on your roster,” said Morrison, who has also welcomed Marcus Smart and Dwight Powell (since traded to Dallas) from Boston. “It helps with the scoring, especially. But we could have played a lot better (Friday) and got the win without those guys.”

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH

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