FORT WAYNE, Ind. - The Mad Ants of Ft. Wayne were too much for the Santa Cruz Warriors in the D-League championship series. The Warriors fell 119-113 in Game 2 of the NBA D-League Finals Saturday night.
With their second win of the Finals series, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants were crowned NBA D-League Champions.
The Warriors raced out to a nine-point lead in the first quarter, but the Mad Ants went on a 9-0 run to tie the game. The teams were knotted at 27 to end the first frame, but Fort Wayne went on a 15-2 run to start the second quarter and pull ahead by 13. The Mad Ants pushed their advantage to 19 in the second quarter and went into intermission ahead by 17. Fort Wayne extended its lead to 20 in the third, but Santa Cruz went on a 13-0 run later in the frame to pull within five points. The Warriors started the final frame facing an eleven-point deficit, but Santa Cruz outscored the Mad Ants 22-10 in the first seven minutes of the fourth quarter to take a one-point lead.
The game was tied at 111 apiece with 1:59 left in the contest, but Fort Wayne ended ?on an 8-2 run to seal the victory.
Santa Cruz was paced by Seth Curry, who scored 29 points and dished out five assists. Cameron Jones scored 28 points, pulled down eight rebounds and had a team-high six assists, while Lance Goulbourne recorded a double-double with 20 points and a game-high 14 boards. Kevin Kotzur logged his second double-double of the postseason with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
Fort Wayne was led by Tony Mitchell, who scored a game-high 32 points off the bench. Ron Howard had 23 points, while Matt Bouldin scored 20. Sadiel Rojas grabbed a team-high 10 boards.
Fort Wayne held the edge on field goal percentage (47.4%-40.9%), assists (21-19), steals (14-9), and points in the paint (60-38) while committing fewer turnovers (12-16). Santa Cruz had more blocks (3-1).
The Santa Cruz Warriors in their first two seasons have been to the D-League finals each year. You can attribute that to a strong organization and the passionate fans in Santa Cruz for another outstanding season.