The Grand Rapids Drive (24-24) have responded with two straight wins over division leaders after being eliminated from the NBA D-League playoffs.
Tuesday morning at the DeltaPlex Arena, the Drive defeated the Maine Red Claws (28-20) 107-95 in a Meijer School Day game that started at 11 a.m. in front of over 2,400 school children.
In the makeup game of an earlier matchup cancelled due to weather that wouldn’t allow the Red Claws to leave the East Coast, the Drive saw the visitors get out to a quick 15-5 lead before responding with a 25-7 run to lead 30-22 after the first quarter. Grand Rapids would grow the lead to as many as 16 points in the second and held a 52-39 lead at the halftime break.
Maine, playing with Boston Celtics assignee Jordan Mickey, got back within five points early in the third quarter, but Grand Rapids went on a 5-0 run to stretch their lead to double figures once again. The Drive owned the paint most of the day, penetrating with ease and getting up 17 more shots than their opponents. Maine turned the ball over 20 times versus Grand Rapids’ 10 giveaways.
Lorenzo Brown led the way for the Drive with 30 points, 11 rebounds and four assists, including a buzzer-beating field goal at the end of the third. Kevin Murphy returned from an injury with 27 points and 13 rebounds and Ray McCallum nearly completed a triple-double with 14 points, nine rebounds and nine assists.
Mickey led the Red Claws with 21 points and nine rebounds. Abdel Nader scored 16 and Marcus Georges-Hunt had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the visitors, who could have clinched the Atlantic Division with a win.
The Drive will finish their road schedule against the Westchester Knicks on Thursday and return home for their season finale Friday night at the DeltaPlex against the Canton Charge. Both games start at 7 p.m. ET.