EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – The Los Angeles D-Fenders fell to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants on Saturday at the Toyota Sports Center, 131-109, marking the team’s worst loss of the year.
The D-Fenders (29-13) were led by Vander Blue’s 25 points, five rebounds and four assists. Josh Magette netted 23 points, six rebounds and seven assists on the day. Meanwhile, DeJuan Blair (14 points, seven rebounds, three assists), Lakers assignee David Nwaba (13 points, four rebounds), recent addition Deshawn Stephens (11 points, six rebounds) and Travis Wear (10 points, seven rebounds) each scored in double figures.
Fort Wayne (24-17) was guided by a dominant effort from guard Jordan Loyd, who totaled 34 points, four rebounds and seven assists. Six other Mad Ants put together double-digit scoring efforts, including a 12-point, 17-rebound performance from NBA veteran Tyler Hansbrough. The visiting team’s starters combined for 94 points on the evening.
L.A. began the game on a hot shooting streak and led the Mad Ants by seven points on three different occasions in the first frame. Unfortunately, that would be the D-Fenders’ biggest lead of the day as the visitors led after the first quarter, 30-26. Fort Wayne controlled the second frame, outscoring the home team 38-26 to go into the locker room with a 68-52 halftime lead. Despite 17 first-half points from Blue, the D-Fenders shot just 22.2 percent from three-point range in the first two periods, limiting their comeback attempt.
The Mad Ants would go up by as much as 29 points in the third frame, sparked by 15 points in the period from Loyd. Fort Wayne owned a 95-72 advantage through three quarters of play. The D-Fenders outscored the visitors in the final 12 minutes of action, 37-36, but a double-digit deficit was too much to overcome.
Overall, L.A. shot 46.1 percent from the field, including a 21.7 mark from three-point range. The D-Fenders accounted for 27 costly fouls, including four technical fouls as frustrations grew. It was the third consecutive loss for the D-Fenders.