Basketball: Claws pull plug on Energy

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PORTLAND For the second night in a row, the Maine Red Claws (15-8) held off the Iowa Energy (6-15) at the Portland Expo Building, squeezing out a 110-106 victory and winning their fifth game in row on Saturday.

The fourth quarter was back and forth battle, with Maine taking the lead for good on a Xavier Silas three-point play. The Red Claws never got more than four points ahead of the Energy in the final minutes, but still closed out the game with a win.

The Energy completely erased the Red Claws’ lead thanks to a quick scoring burst from former Red Claws Morris Almond and Paul Harris to take a 61-60 advantage midway through the quarter. The teams traded baskets before Iowa went on another big run, outscoring Maine 14-4 on Ben Strong and New Orleans Hornets assigned player Darius Miller. Maine’s Champ Oguchi picked up eight quick points of his own to bring the Red Claws back into it, trailing 77-75 through three quarters.

The Red Claws got off to a slow start, but  Silas and Micah Downs led a 17-4 run that brought them right back into the game.

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Maine was led by Silas’ 21 points and four assists. Other Red Claws that were key in the victory were Micah Downs (19 points, eight rebounds, four steals), Wright (16 points, eight rebounds), Oguchi (16 points, four assists), Celtics assigned player Fab Melo (13 points, 11 rebounds, four blocks) and Omar Reed (10 points, four assists, three steals).

The Red Claws are back at the Expo on Monday at 1 p.m., when they take on the Springfield Armor.

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