MISSISSAUGA, Ontario — Jalen Jones notched a game-high 29 points, while Abdel Nader had 23 points, six rebounds and six assists as the Maine Red Claws (18-9) defeated the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (15-9), 112-107, on Day Four of the 2017 NBA Development League Showcase.
Fort Wayne’s Travis Leslie, who had 15 points in relief, hit a three-pointer with just under two minutes remaining to trim the Maine lead to four points, but key defensive stands and made free throws in the last minute propelled the Red Claws to their 18th win of the season. Marcus Georges-Hunt netted 17 points and Cameron Ayers came off the bench to score 13 points for Maine, which won its third straight game.
In the loss, Stephan Hicks scored a team-best 25 points and hauled in seven rebounds. Fellow teammate Alex Poythress posted a double-double of 21 points and 14 rebounds.
After a seven-point deficit early in the first quarter, the Red Claws outscored the Mad Ants by 12 to lead by five heading into the second quarter, 33-28. Maine connected of six three-pointers in the first period while limiting Fort Wayne to 16.7 percent beyond the arc.
The Red Claws continued their hot play in the second quarter by extending their lead to as many as 13 points before the Mad Ants cut their deficit to single digits at the half, 66-57. Jones led all scorers after two quarters with 18 points and Nader added 17 first-half points for Maine, which shot 12-of-21 (57.1 percent) from three-point territory in the first half.
Hicks led the Mad Ants with 17 points in the first half on 6-of-9 shooting. Fort Wayne made its presence known in the paint, outscoring Maine 26-10 in the first half.
Fort Wayne opened the second half with a 15-6 run to knot the game at 72-72 with 6:32 remaining in the third quarter. The Mad Ants and Red Claws traded buckets in a quarter that featured four ties and two lead changes. Maine held the advantage after three, 88-83.