CANTON – The Canton Charge (8-14), powered by the Cleveland Cavaliers, were defeated by the Westchester Knicks (17-9), 95-90, at the Memorial Civic Center on Friday night.
The Charge took control early in the first quarter behind Portland Trail Blazers’ assignee Caleb Swanigan’s nine points and five rebounds. Reigning NBA G League Player of the Month Trey Burke answered with 10 first quarter points of his own to keep the Knicks within reach, with the Charge leading 28-19 at the end of the first.
The Knicks responded with a complementary attack in the second quarter, shooting 61% from the field and holding the Charge to just 33% on 6-of-18 shooting. Swanigan added another two points and two boards to give him 11 points and seven rebounds in the half. Westchester outscored Canton 30-15 in the second stanza and carried a 49—43 lead into the break.
The Charge responded in the third quarter, with Marcus Thornton leading the way with 16 points (6-of-9 shooting including 4-of-6 from three) in all 12 minutes. Thornton’s offensive explosion cut a once eight-point Westchester lead to just three entering the fourth quarter, with the visitors leading 68-65.
A Thornton layup and ensuing free throw knotted the game 68-68 with 11:45 remaining in the fourth quarter. The fourth quarter saw five more ties before a Thornton three pointer gave the Charge an 85-82 lead with 3:54 remaining in the fourth. Trailing 87-86, Burke forced a steal and scored in transition to spark a 9-0 run, pushing the Knicks’ lead to 93-87. A late three pointer from Charge reserve Kevin Olekaibe cut the lead to 93-90 before two Burke free throws sealed the game at 95-90. The Knicks defense forced nine Charge turnovers in the final 12 minutes.
Thornton lead all scorers with 27 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 6-of-9 from three-point range. Swanigan recorded a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 19 rebounds in 37 minutes. JaCorey Williams scored 19 points while grabbing five rebounds and dishing five assists in 34 minutes. On assignment from the Cavaliers, big man Ante Zizic scored 10 points and grabbed seven rebounds off the bench.
Burke paced the Eastern Conference leading Knicks with 23 points on 9-of-18 shooting from the field. All five Westchester starters scored in double figures with Nigel Hayes’ 18 points, Isaiah Hicks’ 16 and Kornet and Rathan-Mayes’ 12 apiece.
Canton will hit the road for a division matchup with the Grand Rapids Drive (Detroit Pistons) tomorrow, January 6th at 7:00 p.m. For 2017-18 Charge Nation Memberships, offseason events, game day promotions and up-to-date information, head to CantonCharge.com or call 866-444-1944.
For 2017-18 Charge Nation Memberships, group outings, game day promotions and up-to-date information, head to CantonCharge.com or call 866-444-1944. The Canton Charge are part of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Quicken Loans Arena organization and are also owned by a group led by Cavaliers Chairman and Quicken Loans Founder and Chairman Dan Gilbert. The group also owns and operates the Cleveland Gladiators of the Arena Football League and the Cleveland Monsters of the American Hockey League, both of which play their games at Quicken Loans Arena in downtown Cleveland.
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