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Mad Ants NBADL

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  • Howard honored for character
    Mad Ants guard Ron Howard won the D-League’s Jason Collier Sportsmanship Award on Friday for the second straight year.
  • Mad Ants win away from first title shot
    The Mad Ants are a victory away from reaching a place that was hard to imagine in the franchise’s first five years – the D-League Finals.

Mad Ants previews

Records: Mad Ants 3-8, Maine 6-3, Springfield 3-4

When: 7 p.m. today vs. Maine; 7 p.m. Saturday vs. Springfield

Where: Portland, Maine; Springfield, Mass.

Web cast:

Mad Ants leaders: JaJuan Johnson (24 ppg), JaJuan Johnson (10 rpg), Walker Russell Jr. (6.1 apg)

Maine leaders: Micah Downs (20.2 ppg), Chris Wright (9 rpg), Shelvin Mack (7.3 apg)

Springfield leaders: James Mays (20.1 ppg), Mays (12.6 rpg), Ben Uzoh (5.6 apg)*

Key matchup: Downs, a 6-foot-9, 190-pound guard from Gonzaga, is one of the top shooters in the league and has scored 28 and 17 points in his two games against the Ants this season. For Springfield, the 6-9, 230-pound Mays from Clemson is a double dose of trouble who averages double figures in points and rebounds. In his last game against the Ants, Mays had 25 points and 21 rebounds.

The skinny: The Mad Ants just finished a 1-2 homestand and are 0-4 on the road. Fort Wayne has played five games this season with players sent to it from its NBA affiliates Indiana and Detroit and is 1-4 in those games. Former Purdue standout JaJuan Johnson has become the team’s leading scorer, averaging 24 points. He also leads the team in rebounds with 10 per game.

* – Springfield statistics through Dec. 20

– Steve Warden, The Journal Gazette