Early in the fourth quarter of a one-point game Friday night, the Maine Red Claws finally did what Coach Scott Morrison has been preaching since taking over two years ago.

Marcus Georges-Hunt inbounded to Damion Lee, who quickly returned it. Georges-Hunt started to drive baseline, then rifled a pass to Jalen Jones on the left wing. Jones faked a shot, drawing two defenders, and dished to a wide-open Abdel Nader in the corner for a 3-pointer.

It was the basket that sparked a decisive run and turned a close game into a 114-98 victory over the Long Island Nets. A crowd of 2,307 saw the home opener at the Portland Expo.

“That’s the kind of ball we want to play,” Morrison said. “That’s how we’ve played for the last two years – guys looking for the best possible shot no matter who is taking it as opposed to deciding, this might be my time to take one.”

Jones finished with 31 points and 13 rebounds, and Georges-Hunt registered a triple-double: 22 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds.

The Red Claws (3-1) host Grand Rapids on Sunday and Fort Wayne on Tuesday night after opening with three games in Oklahoma and Texas.

Nader finished with 24 points. Jones followed Nader’s 3-pointer with a reverse layup in traffic and a 3-pointer from the top of the key. Lee (15 points) added a 3 from the corner to give Maine a 104-92 lead and the Claws were never threatened again.

Long Island (1-2) trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half but rallied to take a 70-69 lead in the third quarter and tie it at 88 in the fourth. Georges-Hunt responded with a 3-pointer to give Maine the lead for good.

After three games with Demetrius Jackson on assignment from the parent Boston Celtics, it was Georges-Hunt who handled most of the point-guard responsibilities. To go with his 15 assists, he had two blocked shots and only two turnovers.

“My teammates made it easy on me,” Georges-Hunt said. “I was finding the open man and they were just making shots. So I give them a lot of credit.”

Georges-Hunt was also involved in an on-court collision with Carrick Felix of Long Island in which both went down hard and, on a different play, accidentally knocked over an 8-year-old sitting courtside. On the next stoppage, Georges-Hunt went over to check on Ezra Gabrielson of Cape Elizabeth, who was attending with a friend.

“That was unexpected but I gave him a dap afterward and said, ‘What’s up?'” Georges-Hunt said. “It was great meeting those two kids. Being able to put a smile on their face was the best part about it.”

After seeing his team give up a franchise-record 152 points three nights earlier at Rio Grande Valley, Morrison was pleased to hold an opponent under triple digits for the first time this season.

“We had noticeable improvement in two things,” he said. “One was transition defense. The other was not putting guys on the free-throw line.”

Long Island was 6 of 10 on foul shots compared to Maine’s 23 of 29.

“We really emphasized keeping our hands off and being straight up,” Morrison said, “and trying to make guys finish.”