SPRINGFIELD, MA- The Springfield Armor defeated the Canton Charge 125-116 in overtime tonight in the Armorís first home playoff game in franchise history inside the MassMutual Center. The Armor and Charge will now meet for the decisive third game in their first round NBA Development League playoff series, presented by BBVA, tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. in Springfield.
After dropping the first game of the series in Canton on Friday night, the Armor burst out of the gate and rolled to an early 26-10 lead in the first quarter. JamesOn Curry scored 17 of his season-high 30 points in the period, propelling the Armor to a 43-31 lead at the end of a fast paced first quarter. The Armor shot 70% from the field in the quarter and Curry knocked down 10-11 foul shots in the period.
In the second, the Charge slowly chipped away at the lead, outscoring the Armor 28-21 in the quarter to trim the deficit to 64-59 by halftime. Luke Harangody scored all 9 of his first half points in the second, one night after tallying 16 points and 10 rebounds with the Chargeís NBA affiliate, the Cleveland Cavaliers (Harangody was re-assigned to Canton by the Cavaliers prior to tonightís game in Springfield).
Canton ratcheted up the defensive intensity in the third quarter, holding the Armor to just 25% in the period while burying 57.9% of their shots. The Charge broke an 82-82 tie with less than a minute to go in the third quarter on a Tyrell Biggs step-back jumper to head into the end of the third with an 84-82 advantage.
The fourth quarter was a seesaw affair, as the Armor and Charge battled to 12 lead changes and 9 ties. A Dennis Horner layup with 32.4 seconds to go tied the game, 113-113, and a defensive stop on the next Canton possession gave the Armor the chance to win the game in regulation. Curry drove to the basket on the final play but was whistled for an offensive foul with 0.4 seconds to go, forcing overtime.
In the extra period, Curry scored the first basket and Horner followed with a pair of free throws to extend the lead to four. A Harangody three-pointer cut the deficit to one, but the Armor rattled off an 8-0 run to close out the game to seal a 125-116 victory.
The trio of Curry, Horner and Jerry Smith combined for 88 of the Armorís 125 points, with Curry tying a franchise record with 15 made-free throws on the night. Horner tied his season-high with 29 points and added 11 rebounds for his 11th double-double of the season. Smith also contributed 29 points and 11 rebounds for his 4th double-double of the season.
The Charge had a balanced offensive attack with seven players scoring in double figures, led by Harangodyís team-high 26 points. Antoine Agudio added 21 points, Kyle Gibson chipped in 17, Trent Strickland poured in 13 points off the bench, Dante Milligan and Tyrell Biggs each scored 11 and T.J. Campbell rounded out the double figures scorers with 10 points and 8 assists.
Springfield buried a franchise-record 43-54 free throws on the evening and after being out-rebounded 53-41 on Friday night, the Armor out-rebounded the Charge 44-27 tonight.
The Armor and Charge will battle again inside the MassMutual Center tomorrow night at 7:00 p.m. The winner of the decisive game three will take on the winner of the Austin Toros versus Erie BayHawks series, which is also tied 1-1.