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Mad Antics

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    The Mad Ants’ defense of their D-League championship has gotten off to a rough start. A 99-87 loss Friday at Erie, Pennsylvania, dropped them to 0-3 on the season.

Ants lose at Maine

Playoff bid comes down to Saturday

Just like that, the playoffs are hanging by the slenderest of threads for the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.

In a game that see-sawed down to the end in Portland, Maine, the Maine Red Claws scored the last seven points to pull out a 105-100 victory Thursday, sending the Ants’ playoff fate to the final regular-season game Saturday against Sioux Falls.

The Ants (23-26) entered Thursday tied with Texas (23-26) for the last playoff spot. The Legends could have locked up the playoff spot with a win, but they lost 120-118 at Austin, sending the decision to Saturday.

To secure the playoff spot, the Ants must beat Sioux Falls, and the Legends have to lose again to Austin.

If both teams win or both lose, they finish tied and that sends the Legends to the playoffs because they own the tiebreaker (most victories against teams with .500 or better records).

In Portland, meanwhile, the Ants overcame a 12-point deficit, 42.4 percent shooting and 8 of 27 three-point shooting to take a 100-98 lead on Chris Kramer’s jumper with 38.1 seconds showing.

Stephane Lasme’s layup and Craig Winder’s free throw gave the Red Claws the lead, and then Kramer missed a layup and a three and Ryan Wittman another three in the final 16.9.seconds for the Ants.