Grand Rapids Drive win fourth straight game, end Raptors 905 10-game winning streak

The Grand Rapids Drive (16-16), behind Detroit Pistons assignees Michael Gbinije and Henry Ellenson, moved back to the .500 mark with a 122-115 win over Raptors 905 (22-8) on Saturday night at the DeltaPlex Arena, handing the Raptors their first road loss of the season and ending the 905’s current league-best 10-game winning streak.

Henry Ellenson photoGbinije finished with 29 points, including five threes, and nine rebounds while Ellenson finished with 25 points and seven rebounds, including a big-time three-pointer late in the fourth giving GR a 112-109 lead. Kevin Murphy (25 points) followed that up with another deep three right to push the lead to six points, but 905’s Brady Heslip answered with a 3-bomb of his own. Edy Tavares committed a Flagrant 2 foul against Ellenson on an inbounds play. He was ejected after a replay review and the Drive sealed the game from the free throw line.

The Drive fell behind 31-24 after the first quarter and trailed 65-60 at the half. Coach Rex Walters‘ team didn’t put it together after the break, either. The Raptors scored the first 11 points of the 2nd half, building an 18 point lead. But the Drive went on a 17-3 run and ended the third quarter down just two points at 90-88.

Jordan Crawford came off the bench to score 17 points for Grand Rapids, who won the scoring battle in the paint 42-34 and collected 14 offensive rebounds.

Alex Toupane led the way for Raptors 905 with 25 points, while Heslip (right) added 22 points and E. J. Singler scored 14 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Ravenna, MI native Donnie Tyndall coached the Raptors 905 in Grand Rapids in place of former Detroit Piston Jerry Stackhouse, who was absent from the sideline to attend the funeral of friend and former NBA player Charles Shackleford. After being named to coach the East squad during the NBA D-League All-Star game (Feb. 18) earlier in the week, Stackhouse showed up on Twitter Friday night at the Kinston (NC) High School basketball game.

Grand Rapids plays on the road Tuesday against the Windy City Bulls, and then return home to battle the Greensboro Swarm on Wednesday night.

Nik Jovanovic photo
Nikola Jovanovic hanging out with local fans during a post-game autograph session.