PORTLAND, Maine -- Two Santa Cruz Warriors took off for another fast break.
This time, the Maine Red Claws got back with three defenders.
No problem for the Warriors. Darington Hobson's behind-the-back pass zipped by two Red Claws and Travis Leslie collected it and dropped in the layup -- for a 26-point lead in the third quarter.
Santa Cruz humbled the Red Claws in its first of seven straight road games, beating Maine 120-101 Friday night before a crowd of 2,484 at the Portland Expo.
It was Santa Cruz's largest scoring output of the season, and only the sixth time it has eclipsed 100 points.
Stefhon Hannah led the charge with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-17 shooting. The point guard added five rebounds, six assists and four steals for Santa Cruz (15-8), which will play Springfield, Mass., on Saturday at 4 p.m.
Five others deposited double-digit point totals. Taylor Griffin had 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Edwin Ubiles and Hilton Armstrong added 17 points apiece off the bench. Mickell Gladness and Cameron Jones supplied 16 and 11 points, respectively.
Lance Goulbourne was the lone Warrior to not score, although he pulled down a team-high 11 rebounds.
The Red Claws (16-10) looked in trouble from the start. Santa Cruz led by nine after one quarter and by 20 at halftime. Maine never threatened.
Maine was out-shot (51 percent to 43), out-rebounded (51-38) and out-played, including 18 Maine
Red Claws coach Mike Taylor said his team is weary, having played five games in eight days, including Thursday night in Springfield, Mass.
"We had a lot of tired players," Taylor said. "Transition defense was a problem all game. That's the sign of a tired team. Defensive rebounding was a problem all game. That's the sign of a tired team.
"It just seemed like whenever we tried to make a play, we would dribble the ball off a foot. And Santa Cruz played an excellent game."
The Warriors were playing their fourth game in eight days -- the previous one on Monday -- while Leslie supplied some fresh legs off the bench. The team's first-round pick in this year's D-League Draft, Leslie had been sidelined with groin pain for the previous eight games.
He finished with eight points and four rebounds in 11 minutes against the Red Claws.
Maine guard Micah Downs, who led all scorers with 28 points, said the difficult schedule may have been a factor.
"It's tough to do," he said. "But it's not an excuse, we're professionals."
Maine was down a player as popular guard Champ Oguchi was waived before the game -- apparently at Oguchi's request. Oguchi watched his former teammates from the first row behind the Red Claws' bench.
What Oguchi saw was not pretty.
Downs kept the Red Claws close, briefly, when he hit three 3-pointers in the first four minutes. But, soon, the Red Claws got a taste of the Warriors' league-leading defense.
Adding to Santa Cruz's defensive muscle was its ability to sprint in transition. Several times, the Red Claws were caught watching the Warriors make another fast-break basket.
"Transition defense has been our Achilles heel all year," Downs said.
Santa Cruz's half-court game was not bad, either. The Warriors combined lively guard play with quickness inside.
Maine's 7-foot center Fab Melo could not contain Santa Cruz's post players, especially the back-up center Armstrong.
Armstrong, a 6-foot-11 veteran out of UConn, continually drove around Melo.
At one point, after another Armstrong basket, Melo looked to the Maine bench and shrugged.
"You could see Fab was fatigued," Taylor said.
Melo finished with four points, three blocked shots and one rebound. Point guard Andre Barrett recorded 17 points and 11 assists. DaJuan Summers also had a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Santa Cruz 120, Maine 101
Warriors 30 25 30 25 — 120
Red Claws 21 24 27 29 — 101
Warriors (15-8) — C. Jones 11; T. Griffin 18; M. Gladness 16; M. Baker 8; S. Hannah 20; L. Goulbourne 0; D. Hobson 5; T. Leslie 8; H. Armstrong 17; E. Ubiles 17.
Red Claws (16-10) — C. Wright 10; D. Summers 14; F. Melo 4; M. Downs 28; A. Barrett 17; X. Silas 16; S. VanderMeer 0; O. Reed 2; C. Ayer 6; H. Thorns 4.
Rebounds — Warriors 51 (Goulbourne 11), Red Claws 38 (Summers 10). Assists — Warriors 25 (Baker, Hannah 6), Red Claws 23 (Barrett 11). Steals — Warriors 12 (Hannah 4), Red Claws 5 (Wright 2). Blocks — Warriors 6 (Armstrong, Gladness 2), Red Claws 11 (Wright 4). Personal Fouls — Warriors 20, Red Claws 20.