The Maine Red Claws destroyed the Albuquerque Thunderbirds 122-95, giving another sellout crowd the biggest home blowout of the season.
The Red Claws enjoyed a big victory at home last night, as they celebrated their first St. Patrick’s Day by giving the home fans quite a show. The team was clicking on all cylinders, offensively and defensively, outdoing the T-Birds – and former Red Claw Trey Gilder – in just about every statistical category. Gilder started the night with a nice welcome from his former hometown crowd and finished with 20 points, but it wasn’t enough for the T-Birds.
Albuquerque had to overcome Paul Davis, who after scoring 20 points Tuesday night, led the Claws with an inspiring 29-point performance Wednesday. He was there defensively as well, and contributed in a number of ways all night, clearly leading the team throughout the evening. The rest of the team had a beautiful night offensively too, shooting 75% from downtown. NBA assignee Marcus Landry had his best night as a Red Claw, adding in 12 points, four rebounds and three assists in 23 minutes. He seemed much more comfortable tonight, and appears to be settling in.
Wednesday was one of the best Red Claws games all season, and Davis’s performance was one of the most impressive individual performances of the season. He seems to be really heating up lately, but he didn’t just dominate on Wednesday – he brought his team along with him. Everyone stepped up – Morris Almond had 19 points as the second leading scorer for the close, and together he and Davis accounted for less than half the team’s points. The rest of the bench joined Landry in stepping up, as they collectively added 49 points, led by T.J. Cummings‘ 17.
This was truly an impressive team effort, one of the best games of the year (albeit against a mediocre team). As with the Celtics, they have to consistently compete with other contenders, but watching this kind of impressive game at home is always a pleasure, especially when it includes significant player improvement. If Davis keeps doing well, and Landry continues to improve, the Claws may have some additional options for the stretch run and the postseason.