Stuck under his own basket amid the tall trees of the Santa Cruz Warriors, Marcus Georges-Hunt considered his options.

Shot clock winding down, defenders all around him, nobody open, Red Claws trailing by 10 late in the third quarter.

Out of the corner of his eye, Georges-Hunt spied a white jersey. Looking nowhere near that spot, he zipped a behind-the-back pass to Arthur Edwards, who buried a 3-pointer that sparked the Red Claws to what turned out to be a 115-106 D-League victory Saturday night before a crowd of 2,130 at the Portland Expo.

The Claws (7-2) embarked on a 16-3 run to climb back into the game and took control shortly thereafter with a 12-0 run that included an Edwards dunk on a fast break and a three-point play by Edwards, who drew the sixth foul on Santa Cruz center Damion Jones, on assignment from Golden State.

“I’m happy he trusted me enough to pass me that ball in the corner,” said Edwards, who scored 13 of his season-high 14 points in the second half. “All credit goes to Marcus on that play.”

Two nights ago at Erie, Edwards was yanked after 21/2 minutes and three turnovers.

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“It wasn’t a glorious stat line,” said Maine Coach Scott Morrison. “He’s had a couple rough outings. We just challenged him to be ready to play when he gets in there, and do his damage on defense and rebounding. Anything on offense is a bonus. I thought he was the guy who turned it around for us tonight, for sure.”

Edwards played 20 minutes Saturday night, double his usual time. He hit two 3-pointers in three attempts, grabbed two rebounds and blocked a shot.

“I guess whenever I’m having a good game, Coach leaves me in,” Edwards said. “My leash becomes a little longer.”

Saturday’s game marked the D-League season debut of Celtics big man Jordan Mickey, who played 23 games for the Claws last season. After a slow start, he finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks.

Mickey also had the save of the game, leaping out of bounds to grab and offensive rebound and extend a Red Claws possession that ended in a 15-foot jumper by Demetrius Jackson to give Maine a 10-point lead with a minute left.

“I think he’s better defensively than he was last year,” Morrison said of Mickey.

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“Offensively, I think he has to get into a rhythm. He hasn’t played much this season. He has to get his legs, get his timing down. We’ve got to get him rolling to the basket a little harder. But I think he made his presence known on the glass, on the defensive end.”

Santa Cruz (2-7) has lost six straight but seemed in control throughout the first half and deep into the third quarter. Scott Wood scored 26 points, and a former Celtic, Phil Pressey, had 20 for the Warriors, who led 73-61 before a Georges-Hunt drive. Jalen Jones led all scorers with 28. Jackson added 23.

“These guys killed us on the glass the whole game,” Morrison said. “We finally decided to toughen up and put a body on somebody and rebound as a team. Until that happened, we were in big trouble.”

The Red Claws return to action at 5 p.m. Sunday against Raptors 905 at the Expo.

Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: GlennJordanPPH


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