Devin Ebanks and Willie Reed, the Springfield Armor's two bigs, have diminishing chances of being called up by NBA teams, particularly by the Nets who this week called up a point guard, Jorge Gutierrez, rather than a big. But if the 6'9" Ebanks and the 6'10" Reed were disappointed, their numbers didn't show it. The two combined for 49 points and 16 rebounds but the Armor lost to Gutierrez's old team, Canton Charge, 118-110, in Canton.
On the other hand, Darius Johnson-Odom, the Armor point guard who Gutierrez beat out for a 10-day deal, struggled. He scored 17 points but shot 5-of-18, including 1-of-7 from deep. Johnson-Odom, who played for the Lakers last year, is more of a scoring point guard than Gutierrez, who's a better passer and defender. DJO is ranked No. 2 in the D-League Prospect Watch. Ebanks, who finished with 28 points, is ranked No. 3. He's averaging 25 points per game since arriving in Springfield six games ago.
In the battle of the Hall of Fame cities, a slow start saw the Armor fall behind by as many as 10 in the first quarter as Springfield failed to grab a lead through the first 12 minutes. A late surge helped the Armor trim the deficit to just two entering the second following an 8-2 run to close the opening frame.
Springfield eventually built a 40-34 lead, its largest of the half, after a 19-6 run capped off at the midway point of the second quarter. Canton battled back, but a jump shot from the right elbow with less than four seconds remaining by Johnson-Odom gave the Armor a 49-48 edge at the break.
Ebanks and Reed led the Armor with 13 points and 11 points, respectively, through the first half. Springfield used a 40-36 advantage inside and a 4-of-11 effort from beyond the arc, two by Khalif Wyatt, to take a one-point lead into the second half.
Canton's Arinze Onuaku led all scorers with 14 on a 6-of-8 mark from the field and 10 boards for a first-half double-double, while Shane Edwards added 10 points. After 30 points in the first quarter, the Charge were held to just 18 in the second as the home team was limited to 33 percent shooting in the frame.
The Charge roared back from the one-point deficit in the third, outscoring the Armor 35-25 to take an 83-74 lead into the fourth quarter. Less than three minutes into the Stanza, Canton took a two-point edge which would be the 14th and final lead change of the afternoon.
The Armor would go on to outscore the Charge 36-35 in the fourth quarter behind 11 points from Wyatt in the frame as the Temple product finished with 17 on the day off the bench. Springfield made a late run in the final period but Canton's lead reached as high as 16 before the Charge finished off a 118-110 victory.
The loss would be just the second on the season for the Armor after holding an edge to begin the second half (6-2).
Ebanks led all scorers with 28 points, while Reed finished with his sixth double-double in his last seven games (21 points, 13 rebounds). Springfield turned the ball over just 15 times and created 17 steals, but a 61 percent clip from the field for the Charge was too much for the Armor in the eight-point loss to begin a four-game road trek.
The Charge were led by Edwards' 23 on the afternoon, while Cleveland assignee Sergey Karasev scored 21.
- Game Info: Armor at Charge - D-League