The Armor couldn't get past the Canton Charge, one of the D-League's top teams, Saturday and thus saw their four-game winning streak end in Springfield. But the "D" in D-League stands for "development" and the Armor's top two players, Darius Johnson-Odom and Adonis Thomas, combined for 60 points in the 110-103 loss.
DJO, the 6'3" combo guard, had 36, bringing his five game average to 29.1 per game while Thomas scored 24, bringing his five game total to 22.0. He hit both his three pointers. The 6'7" small forward is now shooting 47 percent from deep for the year.
That wasn't enough to beat the Charge, the Cavaliers' affiliate.
Johnson-Odom found the hot hand early, connecting on 4-of-7 attempts from the field including 2-of-3 from beyond the arc for 13 points, but for the first time in four games, Springfield found itself trailing after one quarter. Canton used a 22-10 edge in the paint and a 10-of-11 effort from the charity stripe to put the Armor in a nine-point hole entering the second, 37-28.
Canton’s Onuaku paced the Charge on both ends of the floor as the 6-9 center registered a team-high 14 points over the first 12 minutes to compliment two blocks and eight boards. Springfield battled back in the second, outscoring the Charge 24-22, but despite 19 first-half points from Johnson-Odom, entered the locker room trailing 59-52.
The Armor won the battle on the boards in the first half, 20-17, but the Charge hit 52 percent of their shots from the field to pull ahead by seven. Joining Johnson-Odom in double figures through the first half was Adonis Thomas with 12 points, coming off a 29-point outburst one night ago against Maine.
Springfield continued to chip away at the nine-point lead the Charge built after the first 12 minutes, pulling within one entering the fourth after a 24-18 advantage in the third period. Canton continued to keep the Armor behind, entering the final stanza with a 77-76 lead, holding Springfield in the rearview mirror since the first quarter.
A physical fourth frame saw Springfield close several gaps, but the Charge answered every run to protect their lead. The Armor whittled down an eight-point fourth-quarter deficit to just four with two minutes remaining, but Canton iced the game down the stretch by knocking down eight straight free throws with less than 20 seconds remaining.
The Canton bench outscored the Armor reserves 39-13 on the night. Both teams netted five treys, but the Charge were able to connect on nine more baskets from the field (39-30), using a 52-38 advantage on high-percentage shots in the paint.
Three players who once wore the Nets uniform --former Net Ben Uzoh and training camp alumni Jorge Gutierrez and Robert Hite, form the Charge backcourt. Gutierrez finished with 14 and seven, Uzoh, 16 and Hite, eight. Leading the Charge was Gilbert Brown, a forward out of Pitt, who finished with 25. Sergey Karasev, the Russian forward from last June's draft, had eight.
- Game Info: Charge at Armor - D-League
- Canton Charge snap Springfield Armor's win streak 110-103 - Mike Gillmeister - Springfield Republican