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RED CLAWS FALL TO TOROS IN OT 126-114

PORTLAND, ME - For the first time this year the Maine Red Claws have lost three straight games. The Austin Toros came in to the sold-out Portland Expo and beat the Red Claws 126-114 in overtime. Malik Hairston was unstoppable for the Toros, going off for 44 points and carrying the Toros to the win.

While the Red Claws held about a ten-point lead for the entire first half, the Toros went on a 9-0 run midway through the third to make a game of it. They finally took the lead on a Curtis Jerrells’ three with 1:21 to play in the quarter, their first lead since the score was 3-2. The quarter ended with a 75-72 Toros’ lead.

The teams played a back-and-forth fourth quarter, and with Maine leading 108-106 with three seconds to play a flagrant foul was called on J.R. Giddens. Hairston subsequently hit both free throws, and the game was sent to overtime.

In the extra period the Toros stayed composed and hit jumper after jumper, outscoring Maine 18-6.

Hairston’s total was the game-high in points, but Alexis Ajinca had an incredibly impressive box score with a triple double: 26 points, 13 rebounds and 10 blocks. Celtic assignee Giddens, playing in his second game with the Red Claws, had 23 in the loss while Jerrells finished with 29 for Austin.

The win puts Austin at 12-9 on the year, and the Red Claws fall to 13-9. Maine is back in action Sunday night, traveling cross country to take on the Bakersfield Jam. The Toros head south to face the Armor in Springfield.