On Thursday night, the Mad Ants got their first taste of a blowout.
And they were on the good end of it.
Paced by Trey McKinney-Jones' 28 points, they defeated the Reno Bighorns 114-89 at Memorial Coliseum.
The Mad Ants, who have won five consecutive games, were particularly deadly from 3-point range, making 12 of 20 shots.
Leading them from beyond the arc was Sadiel Rojas, who was 4 of 6 en route to his 21 points.
Ron Howard had 17 points, enough to move him into sole possession of fifth on the D-League’s all-time scoring list. He’s now at 3,561 points.
Howard came into the night tied for fifth with Will Conroy. Morris Almond is the next player Howard could catch, at 3,697 points, and Renaldo Major is the all-time leader with 4,160 points.
As good as the victory was for Fort Wayne (6-5), things could start to get even better.
Before the game, the Mad Ants got two players sent down by the NBA’s Detroit Pistons – Tony Mitchell and Peyton Siva – marking the first time this season they have had players assigned.
They should be in the Fort Wayne lineup Saturday at the Coliseum against Rio Grande Valley.
Mitchell, 6-foot-8, averaged 1.1 points and 1.1 rebounds in 10 games with the Pistons. Siva, 6-0, had 0.3 points and 0.8 assists in 13 games. Mitchell (North Texas) and Siva (Louisville) were second-round picks in this year’s NBA draft.
This is not the same Tony Mitchell who played for Fort Wayne last season. But that Mitchell –- the D-League’s reigning Rookie of the Year -– could be rejoining the Mad Ants in the next few days, after playing in China, Mad Ants president Jeff Potter confirmed. That Mitchell averaged 21.9 points and 6.4 rebounds last season.
A source also confirmed that the Indiana Pacers could assign Solomon Hill to Fort Wayne as soon as Saturday. A rookie first-round pick out of Arizona, he is averaging 1.5 points and 1.6 rebounds in 16 NBA games.
Reno fell to 5-7.