PORTLAND (NEWS CENTER) - The Maine Red Claws (2-2) played even with the Sioux Falls Skyforce (3-0) through three quarters on Sunday, but a 16-5 run to open the fourth quarter helped Sioux Falls put the game out of reach, running their record to 3-0 with a win at the Portland Expo Building, 98-87.
The game was a seesaw battle through the first three quarters, with Maine jumping out to a slim 28-27 lead at the end of one quarter. They extended the lead to 3, going into the half, 54-51. The Red Claws jumped out to a quick 7 point lead to start the second half, sparked by Kris Joseph in his first game back after a brief stint with the Boston Celtics, but a 10-3 run by Sioux Falls brought the teams even after three, 69-69.
Sioux Falls guard Andrew Goudelock led all scorers (24 points, 5 rebounds). The Skyforce also got solid efforts from Jarvis Varnado (15 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals), Troy Hudson (14 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists), Mark Tyndale (13 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals, 4 assists), Will Foster (10 points, 7 rebounds, 5 blocks) and Mike Davis (8 points, 14 rebounds, 4 assists, 3 steals).
The Red Claws were paced by Micah Downs (19 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) while getting contributions from Chris Wright, with a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds, 3 steals, 2 assists), Shelvin Mack (15 points, 6 assists, 4 rebounds) and Kris Joseph (14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists). Rounding out the Red Claws in double figures was Chris Ayer (10 points). Fab Melo, who was trailed throughout the game day by NBA TV taping a segment of "Rooks", added 4 points and 9 rebounds in the loss. Kris Joseph, who arrived with the Celtics in Boston at 2:30 AM following their road trip to Milwaukee yesterday and made an early morning drive to Maine today, nonetheless put up 14 points and six rebounds in a solid return effort.
The Red Claws will look to regain their winning ways as they head to Erie to take on the BayHawks on Thursday before returning to Maine for a two-game homestand next weekend, Saturday vs. the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 7 PM and Sunday vs. the Canton Charge at 5 PM.