Mad Ants stumble in matinee against shorthanded Charge
The Indiana Mad Ants weren't crisp and had a disappointing showing in a 113-105 loss to the Cleveland Charge. Pacers owner Steve Simon was on hand.
The Indiana Mad Ants tipped off a doubleheader at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Wednesday afternoon. They hosted the Cleveland Charge at 12:30 p.m., then the Wizards are back for the first time since opening night to face the Pacers.
It was not a good showing by the Mad Ants, their worst of the season. It was an early game and you could tell; it felt like an 8 a.m. AAU game on a Sunday. And their opponent was shorthanded. It had the makings for a blowout win, but that’s why you play the games.
The Charge (3-2) were without Sharife Cooper due to an ankle injury, along with all three two-way players: Emoni Bates, Craig Porter Jr. and Isaiah Mobley. The Cavaliers play the Nets Thursday afternoon in Paris … yes, that Paris. And Darius Garland, Evan Mobley and Ty Jerome have already been ruled out with injuries.
The Mad Ants weren’t sharp throughout the game and the second quarter was key, outscored by eight points. They committed 16 turnovers, only got to the free throw line four times and they didn’t have any big individual performances in a 113-105 loss.
After a 15-2 showcase record, they are now 4-2 in the regular season.
This was not your typical performance by this team. Like the Pacers, they want to play fast and race it up the court. Yet I lost count how many times they had to count down to the shot clock expiring.
They were good on the glass, however. They were +9, including a 16 to 5 edge on the offensive glass — which led to 29 second chance points.
The Charge were led by Pete Nance’s triple-double: 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Individually, Kendall Brown led the Mad Ants with 18 points on 8 of 15 shooting. Kyle Mangas scored 13 points off the bench.
Pacers first-round picks Jarace Walker (15-7-5) and Ben Sheppard (14-10) were assigned to the team for the game and they will be back with the Pacers for potentially their second game of the day.
It is the Pacers’ final game of a five-game homestand.
(Update: Walker was not available for the Pacers game due to illness. The team sent him home.)
Pacers owner Steve Simon was courtside for the Mad Ants’ game — as was scout Carl Nicks and assistant coaches Lloyd Pierce and Mike Weinar.
The Mad Ants, meanwhile, head to Maine for a pair of games this weekend. It’s a special return home for general manager Chris Taylor. He’s from the area so the team will have some support on the road.
After three straight on the road, the Mad Ants are back at The Fieldhouse on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 12:30 p.m. against Capital City Go-Go.