Canton Charge 104, Raptors 905 100 | Box Score
Assignees: Malcolm Miller (905)
Two-ways: Jordan Loyd (905)
The 905 blew a 20 point lead in the fourth quarter and completed the collapse by losing in overtime. The 905 only scored 15 points combined in the fourth and overtime, as they were unable to generate high quality looks, with multiple possessions ending in desperate heaves at the shot clock buzzer.
“Absolutely no way to close out a game in that manner,” Head Coach Jama Mahlalela said. “It’s something that we’ll learn from and hope it never repeats itself.”
This is the second time in three games the 905 have poorly closed with a double digit lead, but unlike last week against the Austin Spurs, the 905 ended up losing on Thursday. Before the game Mahlalela said he was pleased with the film session they had on the near-loss in Austin, but analyzing tape after the fact is different than persevering through a furious comeback as it’s happening.
Complimenting the 905’s offensive woes was a stunning second half from Canton forward Jaron Blossomgame, who scored 20 of his 28 points in the final two quarters, including several clutch baskets in the final minutes. In the two-minute overtime, the Charge scored first, Derek Cooke Jr. missed a pair of free throws, and Mahummad Ali Abdur-Rakhman hit a tough step back three pointer to all but seal it.
905 point guard Jordan Loyd scored 18 points on 7-for-18 from the field, and wore the loss for his team.
“I definitely would take some responsibility first and nobody else, because no matter what’s going on, that should never happen,” Loyd said. “I just think we didn’t put the foot on the gas enough, honestly. They made some big shots down the stretch and we didn’t, and that’s the way it goes sometimes. We’re not gonna try to overreact to it. We’re a playoff team, they’re not. We’re just gonna keep our heads on, try to stay locked in and positive, and then keep a right mindset going forward.”
The loss is a big blow to the 905’s hopes for a first round bye, and also hurts their chances for a first round home game. The team now heads to Philadelphia for the first of a three-game road trip to close the regular season. Their final two games are against the Lakeland Magic, who currently hold a one game lead on the 905 and the Westchester Knicks for second in the East.
- 905 Two-way notes
- Jordan Loyd – Though he didn’t shoot well in the final quarter, Loyd showed the most poise as the Charge made their charge (sorry). With less than two minutes left and the offence in a complete freefall, Loyd had strong drive and finish to push the lead to four. Then with the just under a minute left, with their lead at three, Loyd produced a great drive and kick to Josh Adams for a wide open corner three. Unfortunately Adams couldn’t hit.
- 905 Assignee notes
- Malcolm Miller – a quiet 24 minutes for the only player on court with an NBA contract. Miller shot just 1-for-5 from the field, many on less-than-strong drives to the basket. Since returning after six months off with a shoulder injury, Miller has not shown a consistent ability to score off the bounce. While the 3-and-D prospect won’t often be asked to create off the dribble when with the parent club, if defenders are running him off the three point line, he will be expected to make the right read with dribble penetration.
- Other 905 Notes
- Wade Baldwin IV – fantastic in the first three quarters. Baldwin scored on a couple of pretty left handed finishes in traffic, and a couple of pretty free throw line jumpers. He also delivered multiple bullet passes to open shooters utilizing a wingspan that appears to be much longer than his 6’4 height. He also did a great job using his length to contest shots and clog passing lanes.
- Baldwin is a “passionate” player, as Mahlalela describes him, but sometimes that passion can manifest itself in negative ways. In the second quarter Baldwin collided with Charge guard Scoochie Smith after throwing a contested outlet pass. A (mildly) physical altercation followed, resulting in double technical fouls. In the fourth quarter, Baldwin seemed to exhibit some negative body language as the team struggled to execute on offence. “I think it’s a constant thing as young players – how do you stay composed in tough basketball games,” Mahlalela said. “This is a big stage to play on. When things start going difficult – that’s when you have to really work to have the right composure, have the right attitude around things and stay positive. It’s easy to stay positive when things are going well, when you’re up 20. But as the lead started going lesser and lesser, that’s when you need stay in your philosophy and your theories. So absolutely it’s an area of learning for us, and as a team, we’ve done it a few times now where we gotta have (good) composure down the stretch in tight games.”