The last month of the regular season has been one road trip after the other for the Maine Red Claws.

The team finished the regular campaign with three straight road games and seven of its last nine away from home.

That trend continues Tuesday night as the Red Claws transition from the regular season into postseason play in Fort Wayne, Ind.. Maine begins the postseason with the first of a best-of-three series against the Mad Ants.

“I don’t think many pro sports teams have had to deal with the month that we’ve had the last 30 days,” Maine coach Scott Morrison said. “We’ve  been on the road for three or four nights a week all month. We played 15 games with 10 on the road. I’ve been real proud of the way the guys have handled the travel and handled the adversity.”

The Red Claws play at Allen Co. War Memorial Coliseum at 7 p.m. in the first game of their Eastern Conference semifinal.  The game will be broadcast live on ESPNU. The series moves to Portland Saturday at 4 p.m.. Game 3 is scheduled for Sunday at 4:30, if needed.

“They’re all important but game one is definitely important in this format because it’s tough to beat a team twice in a row at home,” Morrison said. “If we get this one, it would be real big for us going home. By the same token, if they can get this one, they just need a split at our place. So, both teams will be going all out. We’ll start with a game plan and try to make some adjustments at halftime. We definitely want a good start to give ourselves a chance to win Tuesday night.”


This is just the second postseason appearance for the Red Claws, which made the playoffs and lost both games in 2013. Maine (35-15) is the top seed and beat Fort Wayne three times in four games this season. The two teams haven’t met since February and have seen a variety of roster changes since.

“It’s going to be tough,” Morrison said. “Since we last played them, they’ve brought back two players that they had last year to win the championship, Matt Bouldin and Trey McKinney-Jones. Both those guys are tough matchups to guard with playoff experience. They also added Jordan Crawford. He’s a great scorer who played most of last year with the Celtics before being traded. He’s got experience and he’s an all-star level guy. Our young backcourt is going to have their work cut out for them.”

Fort Wayne, coached by former Celtic Connor Henry,  has spent the last month trying to overcome the loss of top-scorer Andre Emmett. He was third in the league in scoring, 22.6 points per game, and was the MVP of the all-star game. He quit the team in early March to pursue opportunities overseas. He averaged 25 points against Maine in four games.

Fort Wayne finished at 28-22 but was second in the league in least points against. Maine was third. The Mad Ants averaged 102 points for, 16th in the league, while Maine was 12th at 106 per game.

“The fact that we had the best record in the league, that was one of the goals we pushed for at the end of the season,” Morrison said. “But that’s over now. Everyone is on an even page. Right now, the first team to get six wins will win the championship.”

Maine’s three wins over Fort Wayne were by an average of just two points. The first win was 81-80. Maine was led by James Young and Dwight Powell with 21 points each. Chris Babb added 15. The second win was at home. Maine got 31 from Young and 21 from Powell in the 110-106 win.


The lone loss came at home in a 109-104 Mad Ants win. Maine was down 23 entering the fourth but rallied to get close. The Red Claws shot a team record 22 3’s in the game, including nine from Young. He finished with 33 points while Omari Johnson had 26.

The last meeting was an 87-86 win at Fort Wayne. Romero Osby led the Red Claws with 22 while Christian Watford had 18. It was two free throws by Rodney McGruder in the final seconds that lifted Maine to the win.

Celtics sign Babb

The Boston Celtics announced Monday that they have signed guard/forward Chris Babb to a multi-year contact. Per team policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In related moves, the Celtics have waived forward Shavlik Randolph and assigned Babb to the Maine Red Claws.

Babb, a 6-foot-5 guard/forward, has appeared in 45 matchups for the Red Claws this season and averaged 15.4 points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.7 assists, while shooting .375 from beyond the arc, in 34.7 minutes per game. He was a 2014-15 NBA D-League All-Star and is the 58th Gatorade Call-Up from the D-League this season. Babb appeared in 14 contests for the Celtics last season and averaged 1.6 points and 1.2 rebounds in 9.4 minutes per game in that span.

Comments are no longer available on this story