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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, February 03, 2018 10:00 pm

Lemon, Uthoff lead 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 and two assists. 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 had 26 points, seven rebounds and five assists. Uthoff got 22 points, nine rebounds and four assists as the 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 trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, to get the once-over from team trainers Friday and make sure he was OK for Round 2.

“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,” 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 today 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.

The Mad Ants opened up a 25-11 lead when Stephan Hicks slithered to the rebound of a missed Uthoff 3-pointer and then put a shot off the glass with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter.

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 as soon as he got a chance in the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers for a 36-19 Mad Ants lead.

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, whose 3-pointer with 2:40 left in the fourth made it 104-85 and put the game out of reach.

Jones had 14 points and McKinney Jones had 12. 

Long Island (18-16) was led by Isaiah Whitehead's 24 points.