March Madness doesn’t only apply to college basketball.

A sold-out Portland Expo rocked with excitement Sunday as point guard Trey Davis shattered the Maine Red Claws’ single-game scoring record in a nip-and-tuck game that ended with a 129-126 victory for the Lakeland Magic, who are on the G League playoff bubble.

Displaying a variety of floaters, drives and 3-pointers, the 6-foot, 180-pound Davis poured in 57 points, including 17 in a fourth quarter that saw nine lead changes.

“This is the spirit of basketball,” Davis said. “Everybody wants to play well in March. From NCAA to here, it’s all fun. Basketball is one of the greatest things in the world so you’ve got to enjoy that.”

The previous franchise scoring record was held by Kenny Hayes, who had 52 against Springfield six years ago. Davis was coming off a 12-point, 12-assist performance Thursday night in a home loss to Wisconsin.

Sunday’s defeat was the eighth straight for Maine (17-31) and 16th in 17 games.


Davis spoke in subdued tones while seated on a folding chair along the sideline nearest the home bench, near the spot where the 3-point line changes from straight to curved. He and his teammates had lingered to sign autographs and pose with fans for photos.

That chair was also the launch site of the last of 28 shots Davis attempted Sunday, an off-balance desperation 3-pointer that would have forced overtime had it gone in.

“The whole game, any time it left his hand you thought it was going in,” said John Petrucelli of Lakeland, who was guarding Davis on the play. “So our hearts sunk, but once we saw it was a little bit off to the left, we were good.”

On Maine’s next-to-last possession, after Lakeland had taken a one-point lead with 19 seconds remaining, Davis split a double-team and drove to the basket with four defenders closing in on him.

There was contact and Davis wound up on the floor, but no whistle until teammate Daniel Dixon fouled to stop a certain fast-break basket.

Petrucelli hit two free throws to give the Magic a 129-126 lead with 7.7 seconds remaining.


Davis said he felt he had been fouled both on his drive and before his desperation 3-pointer, when Lakeland defender Alan Anderson told him explicitly the plan was to prevent Davis from a chance at a potential tying basket.

“The guy told me he was going to foul me,” Davis said. “The ref, I don’t know, he missed it.”

Davis, whose previous career high had been 40 points at the University of Massachusetts, sank 13 consecutive free throws until his 14th attempt bounced around the rim and out with 31.8 seconds remaining and left Maine with a 126-125 lead.

His 10th trey of the game (another team record) was a step-back shot from the right wing that put the Claws ahead 125-123 with 1:02 left.

In all, Davis drained 10 of 14 shots from behind the arc and 7 of 14 from in front of it.

He also dished out eight assists, and had a steal and three turnovers. His previous high games this season had been 31, 34 and 36 points.


“I was thoroughly impressed,” said Lakeland Coach Stan Heath. “What a great performance. I became a fan myself. Like, what are you going to do?”

Heath said the Magic tried trapping Davis, denying him the ball, assigning bigger defenders, smaller defenders.

“There really wasn’t an answer for the kid,” Heath said. “He just got in one of those rhythms.”

The Red Claws had jumped out to an early 16-point lead before an 18-0 run gave Lakeland a 31-29 advantage. Davis scored 12 in the first quarter, 11 in the second and 17 in each of the third and fourth. Maine led at each break.

Anthony Bennett (16 points, 12 rebounds) and Devin Williams (17, 10) each had a double-double. Vitto Brown missed only once in six 3-point attempts and added 17 points. Daniel Dixon had 13 points and eight assists.

Troy Caupain led Lakeland with 32 and Anderson had 30. But this was an afternoon for Davis, even though he didn’t get an ending for which the crowd of 2,417 was hoping.

“That’s a person you pull for,” Maine Coach Brandon Bailey said. “He’s made everybody around him better. He’s tried to make the locker room better. He’s a catalytic guy.”

The Red Claws close out their home schedule Thursday night against Long Island, which holds a one-game lead over Lakeland for the sixth and final playoff berth from the Eastern Conference.

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