RENO, Nevada – The Fort Wayne Mad Ants went ahead early and finished strong to hold off the Tulsa 66ers with a 105-97 win at the NBA D-League Showcase presented by Samsung Galaxy.
Ron Howard led the way for Fort Wayne, scoring a team-high 21 points and recording five rebounds and two assists. He was perfect from the free throw line, connecting on all 11 of his attempts. Howard has led the Mad Ants in scoring in 15-of-17 games this season. He has scored 35 points in his two showcase games and hit the go-ahead shot in overtime of the protested game vs. Texas on Tuesday night.
Following an evenly played first quarter, Fort Wayne held Tulsa to just 17 points in the second quarter and took a 54-44 lead into the locker room. Fort Wayne would add to the lead going up 62-48, their largest lead of the game, with 9:17 to play in the third-quarter.
Tulsa would answer back going on a 13-0 run over 3 minutes and 49 seconds to cut Fort Wayne’s lead to 62-61. Rodney Bartholomew would give Tulsa their first lead of the second-half on a dunk with 10:08 to play in the fourth-quarter. Bartholomew had 10 fourth-quarter points, including two field goals that tied the game and two that put them ahead before following out with 2:58 to play.
With just under four minutes to play, Fort Wayne would recapture the lead with back-to-back 3-pointers by McKinney-Jones and Ramon Harris, carrying them to the 105-97 win. McKinney-Jones finished with 18 points and Sadiel Rojas came off the bench to tally 11 points and nine rebounds.
Reggie Williams scored a game-high 26 points on 11-for-21 shooting and Ben Uzoh recorded a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds, to go along with eight assists in the losing effort for Tulsa.
Tulsa will host the Sioux Falls Skyforce in pair of weekend games starting on Friday at 7 p.m. Fort Wayne will also play again on Friday vs. the Austin Toros at 7:30 p.m.