A team that hadn’t lost back-to-back games all season has suddenly dropped three in a row. The D-Fenders struggled on the defensive end against the playoff-caliber Fort Wayne Mad Ants, allowing 131 points in their 22-point loss.
D-Fender of the Game
Josh Magette: The All-Star point guard stayed steady for his team, tallying 23 points and seven assists. He tried to come through for Los Angeles in the fourth quarter, scoring 11 of his points, but the team wasn’t able to close the gap on Fort Wayne.
Before the game, the Lakers signed David Nwaba to a second 10-day contract and then assigned him to the D-Fenders for the night. The Cal Poly product couldn’t stay out of foul trouble, finishing with five in 21 minutes while scoring 13 points. However, he was more upset with his team’s play on the other end, where he has been the leader all season.
Vander Blue (2):
Despite the final outcome, Blue contributed his usual scoring surge by putting up 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting. He could have added to that total, but instead sat the majority of the fourth quarter with the final outcome already decided.
30: Fort Wayne’s biggest lead of the night. The D-Fenders were never able to corral the Mad Ants’ red-hot offense, which shot 52.2 percent from the field while hitting 14 3-pointers and 23 free throws. Fort Wayne was led by a 34-point night from Jordan Lloyd, while NBA vet Tyler Hansbrough added 12 points and 17 rebounds.
The D-Fenders will hit the road for all three of their games next week, beginning with back-to-back contests in Iowa on Wednesday and Friday. The Energy (11-29) are at the bottom of the D-League standings, but nonetheless had a pair of recent call-ups in Troy Williams (Memphis) and Wayne Selden Jr. (New Orleans)