Someday, the Charge will start out a game without digging themselves a massive hole.
Today, however, that day wasn’t today. In a home game Friday against the Wisconsin Herd, the Herd opened up with a 15-4 run thanks to five quick points from Rayjon Tucker. Wisconsin parlayed that opening run into a 40-27 lead after the first quarter thanks to going 7-14 (50%) from three.
The Charge started to compete some on the defensive end as the opened the quarter in a 3-2 zone. They didn’t stay in the defense long, but it was enough to get re-engaged on that end. This dunk by Justin James also helped re-energize the team.
The Charge were able to cut the deficit to three at the half thanks to a 14-point quarter from Malik Newman and an additional 11 from James.
Coming back in games hasn’t been a problem for the Charge. It’s what they do once they cut into the lead that’s been the issue. The third quarter bucked that trend as the Charge played their most complete quarter in some time. The continued use of the 3-2 zone cut off Milwaukee’s driving lanes while opening up some transition opportunities. The Charge led 101-89 after three.
The Charge were able to hold onto the lead throughout the fourth. The Herd never cut the lead to under 7 in the final frame as the Charge coasted to a 129-119 victory.
Newman, for his part, built off his 20-point fourth quarter last game against the Motor City Cruise to have another impressive showing tonight.
“Last game I was aggressive. I was able to dial in and see the good that I did in the fourth quarter and it carried over to tonight.” said Newman after his 34-point performance on 14 of 24 shooting. The Charge have needed his perimeter scoring ability with RJ Nembhard Jr. and Brandon Goodwin up with the Cavs and he’s delivered the last few games.
Charge guard Cameron Young had an efficient 28 points on 7-12 shooing. He did a good job of attacking the basket and consistently getting to the line. James had a solid game off the bench.He ended the night with 26 points on 9 of 16 shooting which included going 3-8 from deep. This is in stark contrast from his last three games where he went a combined 12-43 (27.9%) from the field.
Charge center Tacko Fall finished with 14 points on 6-7 ooting with 4 blocks and 8 boards.
This was not the most remarkable game for Cavs wing Dylan Windler, who finished with 8 points on 3-9 shooting. Windler, on assignment in the G League, didn’t play bad by any stretch, but he disappeared offensively for stretches. He’s played more confidently recently which has resulted in more and higher quality shot attempts. That confidence wasn’t as present on Friday.
Up next: The Charge take on Indiana Pacers affiliate Mad Ants Saturday in Fort Wayne. They return to the Wolstein Wednesday March 15th against the Delaware Blue Coats.
“It’s what we sign up for. At the end of the day we got to take this bus ride,” Newman says.” Get there and prepare. No one is looking how we got there or what we did the day before. Once the ball goes in the air and the clock gets to running it’s all about getting the win.”
Also of note: The Charge’s Norvel Pelle got a technical foul for falling into the sideline since then catching up to the action by running behind the first row of fans. It looked like the punt coverage gunner who runs along the sideline after getting pushed out of bounds. It makes sense that it is a technical, but I’ve never seen anything like it in an NBA/G-league game before so I thought it was worth mentioning. You never know what you’re going to see in these games.