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The Journal Gazette

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette The Mad Ants' Walt Lemon Jr. drives past the Long Island defense during the third quarter Saturday. Lemon had 26 points in the win.

  • Brett Luke | The Journal Gazette Jamil Wilson of the Mad Ants stuffs Thomas Wimbush of Long Island at the baseline during the fourth quarter at the Coliseum Saturday night.

Sunday, February 04, 2018 1:00 am

Mad Ants 108, Long Island 91

Lemon, Uthoff lead Mad Ants past Nets

JUSTIN A. COHN | The Journal Gazette

Glenn Robinson III got his second rehabilitation game in with the Mad Ants and had similar results, totaling 10 points on 3-of-12 shooting with five rebounds Saturday. Meanwhile, Walt Lemon Jr. and Jarrod Uthoff stole the show as the Mad Ants defeated the Long Island Nets 108-91 in front of 4,997 fans at Memorial Coliseum.

Lemon totaled 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists; Uthoff had 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists. And the division-leading Mad Ants (20-14) won for the fifth time in their last seven games.

Robinson, who sat out three months following ankle surgery, made his return Thursday in a 108-99 Mad Ants loss to the Wisconsin Herd with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. He rejoined the Pacers for their Friday trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, to get looked at from team trainers before returning to the Coliseum.

“I thought he got more in a rhythm. He didn't obviously shoot the ball very well percentage-wise but he played more minutes than his first game and I thought he was letting it come to him,” Ants coach Steve Gansey said. “He wasn't being selfish or anything like that, and I thought he did a hell of a job on the defensive end and that was what the Pacers want to see and what he wants to see, get down in a stance and defend somebody rather than going through some individual workouts or some 5-on-5.”

The best sequence by Robinson, the NBA's 2017 Slam Dunk Champion, saw him fight through three defenders in the lane to dish to DeQuan Jones for an easy basket and on the next possession, accept a pass from Jones to dunk for a 12-4 lead.

After the game, Robinson was recalled by the Pacers.

With so many Pacers prospects in the Fort Wayne lineup – Robinson, Ike Anigbogu, Ben Moore and Edmond Sumner – Trey McKinney Jones has had to sacrifice playing time, but he made a difference in the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 36-19 Mad Ants lead.

Gansey said the Mad Ants' plan to force the Nets (18-16) into outside shooting paid off as Long Island was 7 of 36 from 3-point range.

“They like to pocket pass, a lot of pick-and-rolls, and our game plan was really to shut that down,” Uthoff said. “I think we did a really good job of that. We really locked in defensively and that was a big key.”

The Mad Ants' lead grew to 92-69, thanks to a 35-24 third-quarter run that was paced by 10 Uthoff points and nine from Lemon, who earlier in the day was named to the Mid-Season All-League team.

“It all started with the defense. We got on them defensively, and that got us some easy buckets in transition, and we really spaced the floor well and moved the ball well,” Uthoff said.

Jones had 14 points and McKinney Jones had 12.

jcohn@jg.net