The Springfield Armor's bigs came through in the second half with the Nets' D-League affiliate outscoring the Fort Wayne Mad Ants 31-13 in the decisive third quarter to pick up a 108-100 victory tonight at the MassMutual Center. The Armor improve to 3-1, while the Mad Ants fall to 2-4 on the season.
The Armor came out sluggish and trailed by a game-high 18 points late in the first half before a late scoring burst cut the deficit to 60-49 by halftime. Fort Wayne knocked down 24-of-54 for 44% from the field and forced 10 turnovers to maintain the lead heading into intermission. Shawn Taggart, a 6'10" power forward, paced the Armor with 13 points in the opening half to help keep his team within striking distance.
Then, the Armor came out hot in the third, opening the frame on a 10-2 run, capped by a Taggart hook shot with 7:01 to go to trim the lead to 62-59. The Armor finally took their first lead of the game, 72-71, on a put-back dunk by 6'9" backup PF Willie Reed with 2:16 to go in the quarter. Reed’s basket sparked another 10-2 run to give the Armor an 80-73 lead at the end of the third.
In the fourth quarter, Fort Wayne got within four, 99-95, with 1:57 to go, but a steal and dunk by Nets training camp invite Carleton Scott pushed the lead to six and helped the Armor seal their second straight victory in Springfield.
Scott recorded his first double-double of the season, scoring a team-high 22 points and grabbing 11 rebounds to go along with four steals. Ben Uzoh added 18 points, 11 rebounds and six assists and Taggart contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds (eight offensive). James Mays, who had three straight double-doubles, overcame foul trouble to chip in 16 points, but only grabbed five boards in 28 minutes. Reed tallied 12 points and seven rebounds and Cliff Tucker rounded out the double digit scorers with 11 points off the bench.
The Armor matched their franchise-record for rebounds, 63, which they set in Sunday’s victory over Los Angeles.