In the first quarter, the D-Fenders fell behind the Mad Ants by five points early on. However, Los Angeles responded with an 18-2 in the middle of the frame to propel them into a seven-point lead after one quarter. The D-Fenders struggled from the field in the second period, shooting 38.5 percent from the field, connecting on just three of 12 three-point attempts. Trailing by three points late in the frame, Shawne Williams made a three-point field goal and C.J. Williams threw down a fast-break dunk to re-secure the lead at the half. Overall, the D-Fenders shot 46 percent from the field and forced Fort Wayne into 14 turnovers in the first half.
The late push from the D-Fenders in the first half did not carry over into the third quarter and Los Angeles subsequently fell behind by as many as 12 points in the period. Nevertheless, the D-Fenders mounted another late run in the quarter to pull within four points entering the final twelve minutes of play. Los Angeles re-gained their strong offensive form in the closing frame by shooting 57.1 percent from the field and tallying eight three-point field goals. Yet, inevitably the D-Fenders win streak came to an end due to allowing Fort Wayne to grab six offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, leading to nine second chance points.
All five D-Fenders’ starters, C.J. Williams (19 points, seven rebounds), Shawne Williams (17 points, eight rebounds), Brandon Costner (17 points, eight rebounds), Andre Ingram (16 points) and Josh Magette (15 points, 13 assists), finished in double-digits. In addition, Terrence Williams pitched in 21 points off of the bench for Los Angeles.
Tony Mitchell (26 points) and Ron Howard (22 points) served as the catalysts for Fort Wayne. Also finishing in double-digits for the Mad Ants were, Will Frisby (15 points), Matt Bouldin (13 points, eight rebounds, six assists), Memphis Grizzlies assignment player Jamaal Franklin (13 points, seven rebounds) and Trey McKinney-Jones (10 points).
In total, the D-Fenders only converted 10 of their 19 free-throw attempts, including two of eight in the fourth quarter. Additionally, Los Angeles gave up 60 points in the paint and allowed Fort Wayne to shoot 57.1 percent from the field.
The D-Fenders will wrap up their five-game road trip on Thursday, March 20th, at 5:30pm, against the Austin Toros (San Antonio Spurs affiliate) at Cedar Park Center, in Cedar Park, Texas.