Kyle Gibson’s free throw with 1.1 seconds left pushed the Canton Charge past the Maine Red Claws, 92-91. Canton matched their season-best streak with their fourth-consecutive victory and improved to 10-8 on the year, while Maine dropped to 10-7.
It was a closely contested first quarter throughout, with the Red Claws creating opportunities at the free-throw line. Maine hit 8-of-10 first quarter free throws despite Canton being the better shooting team from the field, and the home team led 28-26. The Charge turned up the defensive intensity in the second quarter, holding Maine to just 14 points on 5-of-19 shooting for 26% from the field. Canton’s offensive output remained consistent throughout the half, shooting 48% in each period, as they led 48-42.
The Charge maintained their lead in the third and held a 68-60 advantage heading into the final 12 minutes. Maine opened the fourth with a 12-2 run that would put them ahead 72-70. Six lead changes and five ties later, Canton regained the upper hand with 46.9 seconds left when Gibson was fouled attempting a three-pointer with one second left on the shot clock, converting all three attempts to give the Charge an 88-86 lead.
Nine of Canton’s final 11 points came from the foul line, but the Red Claws kept finding answers and tied the game with 10.3 seconds left when Kris Joseph converted a driving layup. After a timeout, Gibson got the ball to the left of the key and matched up with Micah Downs. He dribbled to the left of the lane, turned and faked several times before drawing contact that would produce the game’s final point.
Three Charge players scored 20 points for the first time this season. Jon Leuer supplied his seventh double-double of the season with 20 points, 13 rebounds, two steals and one block in 41 minutes. Canton is now 8-0 when a Cavs assigned player scores 20 or more points and 9-1 when an assigned player grabs 10 or more rebounds. Gibson notched his first career double-double with 20 points and 11 assists in 40 minutes. Jorge Gutierrez netted a season-high 20 points with four assists and one block in 36 minutes.
DaJuan Summers scored a game-high 23 points with 12 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks in 46 minutes for Maine. Micah Downs poured in 21 points with seven rebounds, two steals and three blocks in 43 minutes. On assignment from the Celtics, Kris Joseph scored 14 points on 4-of-7 shooting in 25 minutes. The Red Claws outrebounded the Charge 48-33 on the night. Scott VanderMeer had four points, eight rebounds and seven blocks in just 19 minutes of play.
Every player in uniform for Canton tonight got in the scoring column. Micheal Eric had six points, six rebounds and four blocks in 21 minutes from the center position. The Charge set a new season-best mark with just nine turnovers in the game. The victory was Canton’s first against Maine this season, with the Red Claws currently holding a 2-1 advantage in the season series with three games left to play.
Canton will next head west for the ninth annual NBA Development League Showcase. The four-day, 16-game event features all 16 NBA D-League teams competing from January 7-10. It’s hosted by the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority, and takes place at the Reno Event Center in Reno, Nevada, home of the NBA D-League’s Bighorns. The Charge will first face the Idaho Stampede on Tuesday, January 8th at 3:45 p.m.
Other Charge News:
Cavaliers recall Jon Leuer
The Cleveland Cavaliers have recalled forward Jon Leuer from the Canton Charge, the Cavaliers exclusively owned and operated NBA Development League team, Cavaliers General Manager Chris Grant announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Leuer has appeared in eight games (seven starts) for the Charge this season, averaging 19.5 points on .512 shooting and 12.3 rebounds in 36.5 minutes per game, helping the Charge go 7-1 in those games. Leuer has played in five games this season for the Cavs, averaging 3.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game.