Ivan Johnson’s 46 points proved to be more than enough for the visiting Erie BayHawks (15-7) as they trounced the Maine Red Claws (10-13) at the Portland Expo Arena with a final score of 123-109.
Red Claws had a hard time containing Johnson early, as the 6-8, 230 lb. forward out of Cal. State San Bernardino picked up 30 of his 46 points in the first half. Despite Johnson’s shooting prowess, the Red Claws still found themselves within 3 at the break, 53-50.
The BayHawks came out strong in the second half, increasing their three point shooting percentage from 8.3% in the first half to a 34.5% in the second half. Every time the Claws would start a run, Erie had an answer for them, whether it was a three to silence the crowd or a stop on the defensive end.
Avery Bradley, assigned by the Boston Celtics earlier in the day, made his first appearance with the Red Claws, finishing in double figures with 11 points and 6 assists in his first game of significant minutes as a pro. Jamar Smith and Mario West added 19 apiece, while Matt Janning shot a great five for six from behind the arch to finish with 18 of his own. DeShawn Sims added 16.
Ivan Johnson led the Bayhawks with a game-high 46 points. Starting point guard Blake Ahearn took up where Johnson left off in the second half, adding his 18 late the seal the Red Claws’ fate. Garrett Temple (14), Tasmin Mitchell (13) and Kyle Spain (13) also finished in double digits.
The Red Claws return to action on Tuesday, making a return trip to Texas to face the defending champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers in back-to-back contests Tuesday and Wednesday. The team will then travel to Frisco, TX to face league newcomer the Texas Legends in the first of two on Friday.
Erie will travel to Springfield to face the Armor tomorrow, finishing up the two-game set on Tuesday. The team will then travel to Fort Wayne to face the Mad Ants in a pair. The Red Claws and BayHawks will square off again in two weeks, on Friday, January 28 in Portland.
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