Maine trailed by as many as 12 points, 73-61, midway through the third quarter, but scored nearly half of their points over the final 18 minutes to improve to 7-2 on the season and earn its first three-game win streak of 2016-17.

“We started boxing out,” Red Claws coach Scott Morrison said. “These guys killed us on the glass the whole game, and we finally decided to toughen up and put a body on somebody and rebound as a team. Until that happened, we were in big trouble.”

The Red Claws went on a 13-0 run that spanned the end of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth to take an 81-78 lead.

Scott Wood’s basket and foul shot put Santa Cruz back on top, 84-83, but then Maine went on a 12-0 run to build a 85-84 lead with less than seven minutes to play.

“I thought we came out and played really well in the first half, and then the first half of the third quarter I thought we were great,” Santa Cruz coach Casey Hill said. “We have a problem with letting people get to the free-throw line, and that hurt us tonight. They shot 34 free throws and scored 27 points on the free-throw line, which is tough.

“They had 21 second-chance points. When that kind of stuff happens, it’s hard to win those games, even if you’re playing well.”


Wood finished with a team-high 26 points, including 5-for-8 shooting on 3-pointers, to lead the Warriors. Phil Pressey added 20 points and Cameron Jones and former Boston College center Dennis Clifford each contributed 14 points.

Jalen Jones paced Maine’s offense with 28 points. He scored 20 of those in the first half, but Morrison gave him a long stretch on the bench in the third quarter because of his rebounding. Following the benching, three of Jones’ six boards came in the fourth quarter.

“Jalen’s got to play a little smarter,” Morrison said. “He’s got to be a little bit more focused mentally on defense and offense, but at the end of the day, he’s a problem attacking. If he makes the right decisions with the ball, he can be a real good player.”

One player who wasn’t coming up short on the rebounding sheet was Jordan Mickey, who was assigned by the Boston Celtics to the Red Claws for the weekend. Mickey grabbed 15 boards to go along with 22 points, four steals and four blocks.

In eight games with the Celtics, Mickey has played double-digit minutes only once. He was on the court for 34 minutes Saturday.

“Felt good to be out there playing again,” Mickey said. “This is something I love to do, so it was great to be able to play.”


The Red Claws also received big minutes and big shots from Arthur Edwards. After being limited to a few minutes in Maine’s win over Erie on Thursday due to a series of quick turnovers, Edwards scored 14 points Saturday. He made 2-of-3 treys, including one that started the 13-0 game-changing run in the third quarter.

“He’s had a couple rough outings,” Morrison said. “I thought he was the guy who turned it around for us tonight, for sure.”

The Red Claws host Raptors 905 on Sunday at 5 p.m.

The Warriors (2-8), who have now lost six straight, continue their five-game road trip Tuesday at Delaware.

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