PORTLAND — The Maine Red Claws (1-0) overcame a slow start to down the Springfield Armor (0-1), 108-95, on Friday night at the Portland Expo.
The Red Claws quickly pushed their lead to nine in the third quarter as Chris Wright and Jermaine Taylor continued their hot shooting from the first half.
Rookie Frank Gaines scored half of his 12 points in the quarter as the Red Claws took a comfortable 85-70 lead into the final quarter.
The two teams traded baskets throughout the fourth quarter but Maine was able to match Springfield’s attempted comeback to hold on for the victory. It was Maine’s fifth straight against the Armor and ninth straight home victory against their rival.
After slipping 13-2 early in the first quarter, Maine slowly chipped away at Springfield’s lead.
The Red Claws got balanced scoring with Marcel Anderson scoring six and Wright and Taylor scoring five each to cut the lead to five, 31-26 after one.
Maine opened the second quarter on a 10-4 run in the first 2:57 to take their first lead of the night, 36-35, and never looked back. Rallying behind Chris Babb’s nine points off the bench, Maine took a 54-49 advantage heading into the locker room.
Gary Forbes led the way for Springfield with 18 points. Willie Reed and Jeff Foote both recorded double-doubles for the Armor. Reed totaled 16 points and 14 rebounds and Foote registered 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Wright put on a show both offensively and defensively for the Red Claws, as he recorded 27 points and nine rebounds. Other leaders for the Red Claws include Taylor (22 points), Anderson (13 points, 7 assists), Gaines (12 points), and Romero Osby (10 points).
The Red Claws take on the Erie BayHawks on Sunday, Nov. 24, at 1 p.m. at the Expo. Springfield travels to Canton next Friday.


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