MONCTON – The Moncton Magic drew first blood in their National Basketball League of Canada playoff series, downing the Saint John Riptide, 101-77 win at the Avenir Centre Friday night.
Game 2 goes Sunday at 2 p.m. in Moncton.
The Magic shot a sizzling 52 per cent from behind the three-point arc to take a 1-0 in the best-of-five Atlantic Division semifinal on Friday.
T.J. Maston, with 17 points and 12 rebounds, recorded a double-double to lead the Riptide. Jon Harris also scored 17. Randy Phillips contributed 12 off the bench, while Frank Bartley added 11.
Billy White led all scorers with 30 points for Moncton, which got a 20-point effort from Trey Kell.
Saint John shot 39 per cent from the floor, but went 3-17 from beyond the three-point line. The ‘Tide were 20-30 from the free-throw line.
Moncton connected on 51 per cent of its field goal attempts, including knocking down 15-29 three-pointers. The Magic hit 10-13 foul shots.
Moncton held a 73-57 lead heading into the final stanza.
The Magic used a 32-point second quarter to take a 51-42 lead into the half. Saint John led 23-19 after one quarter.
The series switches to Saint John on Wednesday when Moncton travels to the Port City to take on the ‘Tide at Harbour Station in a 7 p.m. start.
Game 4 of the series, if necessary, is set for Thursday. Game time is 7 p.m. at Harbour Station.
A fifth and deciding game will be played Thursday in Moncton, if needed.