The Charge (19-27) came into Tuesday night’s game versus the Lakeland Magic (22-22) on a two game losing streak that essentially ended their slim playoff hopes. The season series between the two teams was tied at one with each team winning on their home floor. The rubber match took place at the Canton Civic center on Kyle Korver bobblehead night.
The Charge played Lakeland even for the first three minutes of the game before former Ohio State Buckeye Byron Mullens went crazy scoring 17 points in the first six minutes of the game. Mullens hit all four of his three point shots in the quarter. Canton did not put up much of a fight defensively as Lakeland ran out to a 45-27 lead after one quarter. The Magic shot a scorching 81% from the floor including 88% (8-9) from deep. Marcus Thornton scored 10 points in the quarter for Canton.
The second quarter was all Canton as they overcame that 18 point deficit with some hot shooting of their own. Isaac Hamilton led the charge as he tallied 14 first half points on 6-8 from the floor. Gerald Beverly brought his usual energy off the bench with seven points in the quarter including a couple strong dunks inside. The Charge ended up outscoring Lakeland 32-14 as the teams went into halftime tied at 59. Byron Mullens had 19 points for Lakeland.
The Charge jumped out to a five point lead to start the third quarter and held a lead the first half of the quarter before Lakeland took a six point lead at 83-77 with just under three minutes to play in the third. They were able to sustain it and took an 85-80 lead into the fourth quarter. Isaac Hamilton continued to lead the Charge in scoring with 16 points. NBA veteran Alan Anderson had a big third quarter for Lakeland as he added to his 16 point total knocking down a couple triples.
Unfortunately for the Charge the fourth quarter was all Lakeland. Canton cut the lead to three on two straight possessions to start the fourth before Lakeland went on to outscore Canton 27-13 the rest of the way to take the game 114-97. Canton went cold and committed some unforced turnovers that contributed to the poor final quarter.
Lakeland outscored the Charge 74-44 in the first and fourth quarters combined. Coach Reinking talked about the effort in those two quarters.
“It’s a combination…you can blame our defense,” said Reinking. “Just put it on that and five them credit they made shots.”
Isaac Hamilton led the Charge with 18 points. Marcus Thornton and Scoochie Smith dropped 16 points a piece. Reinking also touched on Scoochie Smith’s solid play since joining the Charge.
“He’s come in and we gave him the reigns without London here,” said Reinking. “He’s picked up our stuff completely quick and done a really nice job.”
Former Ohio State center Byron Mullens had 31 points, 10 rebounds and six assists for Lakeland.
After scorching the nets at 81% (88% from three) in the first the Magic ended at 56% (50% from three). Canton shot 46% (41% from three) and committed 14 turnovers.
The Charge are back at the Civic Center on Saturday for their final home game of the season against the Wisconsin Herd.