Updated: Friday, 14 Dec 2012, 11:56 PM EST
Published : Friday, 14 Dec 2012, 11:50 PM EST
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FORT WAYNE, IN – The Maine Red Claws continued their early season supremacy over the Fort Wayne Mad Ants by beating them 107-104 behind the strength of Micah Downs and Kris Joseph, who scored 24 and 22 respectively.
The Mad Ants came out strong in the first quarter behind the strong play of their three recently assigned NBA players -- Kim English, Khris Middleton, and Miles Plumlee. Plumlee got the Ants off to a 2-0 start off a nice Middleton feed, and English gave the Mad Ants a 13-10 lead off of his first of three three-point shots. The Ants went to the second quarter with a 32-25 lead and were led by Middleton's ten points, five rebounds, and two assists.
The Red Claws went on the attack in the second quarter, however, and got themselves back in the game with a 15-7 run that put them up by one with 6 minutes left in the half. Maine pushed the lead to five before the Ants clawed back into the game with a furious finish to the half that saw them tie it at 55-55.
The game was close throughout the second half, but the Mad Ants seemed to take control off of a JaJuan Johnson jump shot that gave Fort Wayne a seven point cushion, but the lead did not last. Maine went on a 18-6 run over the next six minutes to go into the final minute with a 106-98 lead behind Micah Downs clutch shooting and an absolute dagger of a three from Shelvin Mack. The Ants made a gallant attempt to claw back in it behind threes from Middleton and English, but Maine was able to get the win after three final three-point attempts from the Ants failed.
Beyond the 24 and 22 from Downs and Joseph, Shelvin Mack chipped in 15 points and 11 assists.
For the Mad Ants, Kim English and JaJuan Johnson scored 24 apiece for the losing team.
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