Armor lose a close one as Darius Johnson-Odom scores 30

Chris Marion Photography

Darius Johnson-Odom scored 30 points for the fourth time in seven games, but the Armor lost a close one, 113-111, to the Maine Red Claws in Springfield. The Armor are now 5-2 over the last seven games.

Adonis Thomas started slow with only one point in the first 23:56 minutes of the game. He then hit a  three four seconds before the half then 13 more in the second half.  Overall, the 6'7" forward who's participating in the D-League three-point shooting contest, hit four of five from deep. Thomas, who played 48 minutes on Monday, played all but one minute and 48 seconds Tuesday.

Larry Anderson, a 6'5" shooting guard out of Long Beach State, added 21 points for the Armor.  Tyshawn Taylor, now trying for a comeback with the Red Claws finished with 17.

After falling behind by as many as 16 in the first half, the Springfield offense awoke to cut the deficit to three prior to intermission. The Red Claws started hot, extending their lead into double figures before the close of the first period, entering the second with an 11-point edge at 31-20 behind 10 points from Chris Babb.

After being held to just 43 percent shooting over the first 12 minutes, Springfield found the hot hand in the second as the team combined to hit 59 percent of its attempts from the floor and all five free throws. Though the Armor connected just two treys in the stanza, Thomas’ long range bucket with less than four seconds remaining in the half pulled Springfield within three at the break, 56-53.

The last-second three was Thomas’ only score from the field, ending the half with four points. Larry Anderson led all scorers with 14 points off the bench, while two more Armor players reached double figures including Darius Johnson-Odom (12 points) and Willie Reed (10 points).

Babb led the way for Maine with 12 points, but was held in check during the second quarter as the Armor defense limited the forward to just two points in the frame. Joining Babb in double digits was Daniel Orton with 11 points, hitting 4-of-7 attempts from the field.

The Armor were finally able to grab a slim lead with less than two minutes remaining in the third, but Maine quickly jumped back in the driver’s seat to take a four-point advantage into the fourth, 88-84. Despite 12 points in the quarter from Johnson-Odom, Springfield still trailed the Red Claws entering the final 12 minutes as four Maine starters reached double digits through the first three quarters, led by Babb with 15.

A tight-knit final frame kept the game within single digits as Springfield clawed its way into a one-possession game with less than a minute to play, erasing an eight-point Maine lead. Trailing by two and just 3.3 seconds on the clock, the Armor forced a turnover on an in-bounds play with Anderson finding himself racing down the floor, ball-in-hand. The Long Beach State product got off a desperation attempt as the final buzzer sounded, but the ball fell short of the rim as the Red Claws escaped with a 113-111 victory.

Anderson ended the night with 21 points, tying his career-high for the third time this season. Johnson-Odom scored 30 on 11-of-18 shooting, but a balanced attack by the Maine offense saw five players reach double figures.

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