The Red Claws (28-17) recently locked up a playoff spot, but on Friday night didn’t always play like a team ready for the postseason. They were missing guard Tim Frazier, who signed a 10-day contract with the NBA’s New Orleans Pelicans after winning consecutive D-League Performer of the Week awards, as well as Jordan Mickey, James Young and Coty Clarke to the Boston Celtics. The eight players that did step onto the court for Maine played well enough to take a 60-58 lead into halftime, but the third quarter was a different story.

The Energy (21-23) shot just 42 percent from the field in the first half, then made 15 of 25 shots in the third.

“They hit some tough shots,” Maine coach Scott Morrison said. “I thought our defense was actually a little better in the third than it was in the first half.”

“I just think our guys played with a lot of energy, and we got into a good pace offensively in the second half,” Iowa assistant Matt Woodley said.

Woodley led the team for the final three-plus quarters after head coach Bob Donewald Jr. was ejected with 1:27 left in the first. Woodley also coached the team to a win over Raptors 905 last week when Donewald was suspended.

The Energy outpaced Maine in the third. Woodley said Andrew Harrison “spearheaded” the attack, scoring 10 of his 21 points in the third. He was also one of six Iowa players to record a steal in the third.

“Our guys must have missed that section of the coaching where they tell you to pass to your own team,” Morrison said sarcastically. “Turnovers were a big story of the game.”

The Red Claws finished with 21 turnovers, which the Energy turned into 36 points.

“We really wanted to pressure the ball,” Woodley said.

Iowa outscored Maine 36-17 in the third to take complete control of the game. The Red Claws tried to fight back, but two alley-oops and a pair of three-point plays in the fourth allowed the Energy to keep its distance.

“The game of basketball is a game of runs, so the game’s going to be back and forth,” Red Claws guard Levi Randolph said. “Sometimes you just got to try to withstand them and make a run of your own, but we couldn’t do that today.”

Randolph scored 11 of his team-high 28 points in the fourth, including a pair of dunks, but Maine wasn’t able to crack single digits again.

“They just kept taking any momentum out of our sails,” Morrison said.

James Ennis, the NBADL’s No. 12 prospect, scored a game-high 30 points, pulled in a team-high 13 rebounds, and was one of five Energy players with multiple steals.

Malcolm Miller poured in 23 points for Maine, and Omari Johnson added 18 and 10 rebounds.

The Red Claws will be back in action on Sunday when they host Raptors 905.

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