He may be a giant, but don’t think Tacko Fall is always gentle.

The Red Claws’ star attraction showed some fire in his belly late in a 129-115 comeback victory over the Raptors 905 Sunday afternoon at the Portland Expo.

A sellout crowd of 2,417 saw the 7-foot-5 center uncork a guttural yell after throwing down a dunk midway through the fourth quarter. That set the stage for a later skirmish with Raptors 905 forward Devin Robinson, who had been strenuously trying to keep Fall from an offensive rebound.

Both Fall and Robinson were assessed personal and technical fouls on the play.

“I’m the biggest guy on the floor,” Fall said. “I’m going to play like it. So if you’re going to come at me, be ready, because it’s not going to go your way.”

Fall scored a season-high 21 points on perfect shooting from the floor (9 of 9) and 2 of 4 free throws to go along with two blocks, two assists and five rebounds.


With only eight healthy players, none taller than 6-8 or larger than 220 pounds, the visitors tried to double-team Fall whenever he got the ball down low and did manage to create three turnovers. The constant clutching and grabbing also raised his ire.

“I just got tired of it,” Fall said. “While I was going to set a screen, (Robinson) grabbed my arm and he pushed me a little bit. I tried to get him off me the first time, and then I’m running again and he’s doing the same thing. I was like, that’s enough, man.”

The Red Claws (3-0) are one of two unbeaten teams in the G League, along with the Memphis Hustle (4-0). The Raptors 905 fell to 0-3 after coming out strong in both halves.

Paul Watson scored 30 points and Robinson added 28 for Toronto’s affiliate, which opened the game with an 11-2 run and led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter.

Guard Jaysean Paige and reserve center John Bohannon provided a spark that gave the Claws their first lead at 46-43. On a pick-and-roll, Paige went around his back with a pass that sprung Bohannon for a chin-up dunk. Bohannon returned the favor by finding Paige cutting through the paint.

Paige finished with 17 points and eight assists. He was one of seven Claws to strike from deep, with three 3-pointers. Kaiser Gates led the deep barrage with six 3s and scored a team-high 26 points.


Maine took a 61-56 lead into intermission, but the Raptors 905 opened the third quarter with a 10-0 run before a Paige steal led to a Gates dunk. The Claws took the lead for good on a Bryce Brown 3-pointer that made it 70-69.

Brown finished with 20 points. Point guard Tremont Waters had 11 assists and drained a pair of deep 3-pointers. One of his prettiest assists was an alley-oop lob to Fall for a dunk. Several others set up 3-pointers after driving the lane.

“I knew I had to get in there and pass it out to my teammates; they were making shots,” Waters said. “That was our game plan. Get in the paint and kick it out.”

Eleven players scored for the Claws, whose depth eventually wore out the Raptors. The teams meet again Wednesday morning in Ontario, just outside of Toronto.

“I felt they outplayed us at times, for good portions,” Red Claws Coach Darren Erman said. “We played hard enough to win. We didn’t play our best and our hardest. That’s something we have to fix.”

NOTES: This marks the first time since 2012 the Red Claws have sold out each of their first two home dates at the Expo. … Celtics rookie Romeo Langford, who injured his ankle Friday night, was on the roster but did not play. … The Claws have one more home game in November, on Saturday night against Westchester. … Following the double technical, a center court jump ball restarted play and the 905’s Oshae Brissett won the tap against Fall, despite giving away 9 inches. “It’s going to happen,” Fall said with a smile. “It’s going to happen.”

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