After squandering double-digit leads in each of their previous three games, the Maine Red Claws finally held on to win their first G League basketball game of 2018.


Guerschon Yabusele scored 32 points Monday night as the Red Claws beat the Austin Spurs 111-108 before a crowd of 1,658 at the Portland Expo.

The victory, in a game twice postponed by weather that prevented the Spurs (15-12) from traveling to Portland earlier this month, snapped a three-game losing streak for the Claws (13-13).

Trey Davis came off the bench to score 22 points for Maine, which took a 20-point lead into the fourth quarter only to be held without a field goal for the next 71/2 minutes as Austin embarked on an 18-2 run.

“We made a couple mistakes and we let them come back in the game,” said Yabusele, a Boston Celtics rookie who threw down four dunks, swatted four shots and drained three 3-pointers, “but we had a good reaction for the whole team defensively.”

Jeff Ledbetter connected on eight 3-pointers and finished with 30 points for Austin, which pulled within two twice in the fourth quarter and had a chance at a tying 3-pointer in the final seconds.

Maine point guard Kadeem Allen had 18 points and seven assists to celebrate his 25th birthday. Anthony Bennett added 15 points and 11 rebounds. L.J. Peak contributed 11 points and made 3 of 4 free-throw attempts in the final minute to preserve the lead.

“Twenty-point leads, in pro basketball those are nothing,” said Red Claws Coach Brandon Bailey. “But we have to be better in that area, sustaining leads, sustaining our defense. That’s the one thing you can control with your effort and your enthusiasm.”

NOTES: Neither Andrew White nor Jabari Bird suited up for Maine. Bird is out with back spasms. White signed a two-way NBA contract with Atlanta, and was assigned to the Erie Bayhawks, coached by Portland native Josh Longstaff. … The Claws return to action Thursday night at the Expo in the first of a two-game home series against Westchester. … Monday’s game marked the start of the second half of the 50-game G League season. “We’re trying to come out this half and show we can compete and play and defend at a high level, night in and night out,” Allen said.”

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