Jackson, Red Claws pinch Mad Ants in playoff opener

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Third seed Fort Wayne Mad Ants (30-21) fell to the second seed Maine Red Claws (30-21) 110-106 in game one of the first round of the 2017 NBA Development League Playoffs.

Fort Wayne’s Travis Leslie sparked off the Mad Ants bench leading the team with seven points to put the Mad Ants on top 25-22 to end the first quarter. Abdel Nader logged 7 of his own to bring Maine within only three to close out the first.

Mad Ants and Red Claws kept a close draw throughout the entire second quarter. Trey McKinney-Jones led the way with 12 points and Leslie tied him, putting Fort Wayne up by one point (49-48) to go into halftime.

Fort Wayne extended its lead in the third quarter on 9 points and 7 rebounds from Tyler Hansbrough. Pacers assignee added six points of his own in the third to end the quarter ahead of the Red Claws 79-72.

Maine went on a 5-0 run with under four minutes left in the fourth quarter. A layup by Jordan Mickey with 58 seconds to go put the Red Claws with in one of the Mad Ants. Coron Edwards was fouled with 26 seconds on the clock, Edwards missed the first bucket and made the second to tie Fort Wayne at 99. The Mad Ants were unable to come up on their next possession and the game resulted into overtime.

Hansbrough started off overtime blazing with an alley-oop dunk. Maine gained their first lead of the ball game from a Mickey jump shot with 1:35 left in play. A Hansbrough layup Mad Ants came within two with just 13.8 seconds left to go. Maine closed their claws on Fort Wayne to end game one of playoffs 110-106.

Maine had four finish in double digits, Demetrious Jackson led the way for Maine with 30 points. Cameron Ayers recorded a double-double with 26 points and 16 rebounds. Nader ended with 23 points, and Jalen Jones added 10 points and put up 11 boards.

Hansbrough led the Mad Ants with this ninth double-double since signing with the Mad Ants, recording 29 points and 20 rebounds (12-of-22 FG) in 46 minutes. McKinney-Jones added 19 points and 9 rebounds, Leslie logged 17 points and Niang tacked on 13 points along with 8 rebounds.

The Mad Ants will head to Portland, Maine to take on the Red Claws for game 2 in the first round of the NBA D-League Playoffs on Monday at 8:00 p.m. ET.