The Fort Report: Mad Ants Begin Playoffs

The Fort Wayne Mad Ants’ D-League playoff run began last week. The Mad Ants and Maine Red Claws split the first two games of their best-of-three first round series, with both games going down to the wire.

The decisive Game 3 is in Maine on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM ET. The winner will advance to face Raptors 905 in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Red Claws, Boston’s D-League affiliate, pulled out a 110-106 overtime win in Game 1 last Tuesday in Fort Wayne. The Mad Ants had a 98-93 lead with four minutes to go in regulation, but Maine closed the fourth quarter with a 6-1 run to send the game to overtime and then pulled away in the final minute of the extra session.

The loss spoiled a dominant performance by Mad Ants forward Tyler Hansbrough. The former Pacers first round pick amassed a team-high 29 points and 20 rebounds. Hansbrough went 12-for-22 from the field and collected 10 of his boards on the offensive glass.

Trey McKinney-Jones added 19 points and nine rebounds for Fort Wayne, while Travis Leslie scored 17 points off the bench. Pacers rookie forward Georges Niang had 13 points, eight rebounds, and six assists, though he was just 6-for-22 from the field.

Celtics rookie guard and former Notre Dame star Demetrius Jackson scored a game-high 30 points to go along with seven rebounds and six assists to lead the Red Claws to victory.

After a six-day layoff, the series resumed on Monday night in Maine. The Mad Ants trailed for most of Game 2, but rallied in the fourth quarter to come away with a 111-100 win and extend their season.

Fort Wayne outscored the Red Claws 34-22 in the final period to come away with the win. McKinney-Jones made four free throws in the final minutes, including the go-ahead pair with 18.4 seconds remaining to lift the Mad Ants to victory.

Hansbrough led the way once again, racking up 27 points and 15 rebounds (nine offensive). The former North Carolina Tar Heel All-American went 8-for-11 from the field and 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

McKinney-Jones added 23 points and six rebounds, while Leslie scored 18 points off the bench. Niang added 16 points and seven boards in the win.

Celtics assignee Jordan Mickey led the Red Claws with 27 points and 13 rebounds in the loss. Jackson added 15 points and 10 assists.

The winner-take-all Game 3 will take place on Wednesday night at 7:00 PM ET. You can watch it live on Pacers.com/MadAntsTV.


Stay tuned to Pacers.com for continued updates on the Mad Ants, and make sure to check out Pacers.com/MadAntsTV » to watch Mad Ants games free online.

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