CANTON – A strong third quarter by the Canton Charge helped defeat the Austin Spurs 104-101 on Saturday afternoon, pushing the silver and black further down the standings.
Orlando Johnson’s 24 points led the scoring for Austin. Johnson also stuffed the stat sheet with six rebounds, three assists and two steals. Charles Garcia notched a double-double in 22 minutes off the bench with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Cory Jefferson had 16 points and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Livio Jean-Charles followed up Thursday night’s beastly performance with another solid 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks.
For the Charge, John Holland led all scores with 29 points on 9-for-16 shooting. Kay Felder went nuclear in the second half to finish with 25 points, three rebounds and three assists. Quinn Cook struggled with his shot, but still managed to finish with 13 points. And the duo of Roosevelt Jones and Jonathan Holmes had 10 points each.
It was an ugly start for Canton offensively, shooting under 35 percent in the first quarter. Lucky for them, the Spurs had trouble holding onto the ball as well, with six turnovers to start the game.
After dueling for 12 minutes, Austin held on to a slim one point lead.
To borrow a term from hockey, both teams failed to tickle the twine in the second quarter, shooting a combined 36 percent from the field.
Austin’s offensive focus shifted on attacking the rim, allowing them to go 10-for-11 from the free throw line in the period. Heading into the locker room, Austin maintained a 53-48 lead.
Canton punched Austin in the mouth to start the second half, behind the duo of Felder and Holland. Their combined 23 points outscored the Spurs as a team in the third quarter, giving the Charge a 77-73 lead.
Despite another poor shooting quarter, the Canton Charge managed to keep Austin’s offense at bay during the fourth quarter.
The Spurs finished the game with 20 turnovers and lost the rebounding contest, 48-46, which is a solid recipe to lose when your offense isn’t clicking.
Johnson hit a step back jumper to tie the game at 94, but a series of bad possessions gave Felder a couple of easy buckets to give Canton the three point victory.
Now sitting at 19-22, the Austin Spurs will continue to fight for their playoff lives. They’ll take on the Raptors 905 (31-11) on Monday morning at 11:00 p.m. CST from the Air Canada Centre in Toronto.