The Maine Red Claws’ explosive guard combination of Tremont Waters and Carsen Edwards had been bottled up for most of the night. But with a winning streak on the line, the pair took over.

Waters scored 13 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter, and Edwards got two key buckets and two important assists as Maine rallied from a nearly game-long deficit to knock off Western Division leader Salt Lake City, 107-103, in front of 2,119 at the Portland Expo.

“They stepped up. They’re NBA players, so they’re certainly high level G League players. It was a good job by them stepping up when we needed them,” said Claws Coach Darren Erman.

Waters, a 5-foot-10 rookie, is a two-way player with the Boston Celtics and Maine, the Celtics’ G League affiliate. Edwards, another rookie, has an NBA contract with the Celtics and is on assignment.

Maine, second in the Eastern Division, improved to 17-6 with its seventh straight win. The Claws can tie the franchise winning streak record (set in December 2014) with a victory Friday at Long Island.

Salt Lake dipped to 17-6.

For most of the game, starting center Yante Maten (27 points, 14 rebounds) kept Maine in contact with his efficient inside game. But it wasn’t until Waters made his first 3-pointer of the game with 7:30 remaining that a spark seemed to be lit. That cut the Stars’ lead to 83-80, and then Waters lofted a sweet lob pass to Tacko Fall (14 points, 10 rebounds) that the 7-foot-5 sensation from Senegal threw down to bring the crowd to life. Waters followed with an explosive move to the hoop, giving the Red Claws their first lead since it was 9-8.

Coming off his second G League Player of the Week honor, Waters was 2 of 10 from the floor through three quarters.

“That’s the name of the game. You’re going to have some days when your shot isn’t going to fall. We had a long trip yesterday, but we willed ourselves to a win,” Waters said.

Salt Lake ran off eight straight points to seemingly reassert control. That’s when Edwards stepped up, setting up Maten for a hoop, then going strong to the basket for one of his own. A 3-pointer by Justin Bibbs tied the game, 91-91.

Maine took the lead for good when Kaiser Gates tipped in a missed free throw by Waters for a 95-94 advantage. Edwards followed with another basket on a quick-rising elbow jumper, then set up a Maten basket.

“I didn’t have to be here long to realize that (the Red Claws) play hard and they play until the end of the game,” said Edwards, who finished with 14 points in his ninth game with Maine. “They play the right way, so I enjoy being around here.”

Waters closed things out, going 4 for 4 at the line in the final minute.

Coming off a season-best 79-point first half in its Tuesday win at Erie, Maine trailed 57-45 at the half. Maten was the Claws’ most effective offensive player, with 13 points.

But with outside shots not falling (Maine was 6 of 30 from 3-point range), the Red Claws needed to match the Stars’ defensive commitment in the second half and get to the rim.

“They were really physical with us and we had to be more physical with them in the second half,” Erman said. “We did a good job getting into them and making them uncomfortable.”

NOTES: Maine starting guard Bryce Bowen left the game because of an ankle injury in the third quarter and did not return. … It was the ninth double-double this season for both Maten and Fall. Gates (11 points, 14 rebounds) recorded his fifth double-double.


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