The much larger Raptors 905 squad took advantage of the shorthanded Fort Wayne Mad Ants for a second game in a row, winning 129-114 to take both games of the home back-to-back set. The 905 overtake the Mad Ants in the Eastern Conference standings with the win, propelling them to the fourth seed with a 12-10 record. The Mad Ants fell to eighth with 13 wins and 12 losses.
Sterling Brown continued to build his reputation as a do-it-all Swiss Army knife who impacts both ends of the court. He had 21 points, six rebounds, and eight assists – matching his rebounding and assist totals from the previous game. His ability to comfortably run the pick and roll is an underrated skill that should prove useful in the NBA G League Playoffs, especially whenever Jeff Dowtin Jr. is on the bench or unavailable to play.
“We’ve got a bunch of guys who can put the ball in the basket,” said Brown. “After we see they’re in a rhythm, keep feeding them, keep going to them – that’s going to be the story throughout the rest of the season for us.”
Once again delivering for the Canadian team’s offence was Dowtin Jr. who put up 20 points, five rebounds, and four assists while making eight of his 11 shots. The Toronto Raptors two-way guard has been on a tear lately, putting up at least 20 points in three of his last four games with the 905. He’s averaged 20.5 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in that period, and lately has had moments where he’s the best player on the floor.
Fort Wayne’s Trevelin Queen had another impressive showing, scoring a game-high 34 points along with seven rebounds, seven assists, and three steals. The Mad Ants turned the 905 over an alarming 25 times, scoring 31 points off those turnovers. Consequently, Fort Wayne had 99 field goal attempts to the Raptors 84.
Queen is a two-way player for the Indiana Pacers who’s a sharp decision maker and a speedy athlete with size. He appears to enjoy playing in Mississauga, having also generated 33 points, three triples, five rebounds, and four assists in the previous game. He’s shot 33 percent from behind the arc in the two games but averages just 26.7 percent for the 2022-23 season.
That said, the Mad Ants as a team only made 26.8 percent of their three-point attempts on Saturday afternoon. In contrast, the 905 went 15-33 from deep – a roaring 45.5 percent efficiency.
Backcourt mate and relatively new member of the Mad Ants, Jordan Bone, refused to let size be a disadvantage as he jump shot his way to 24 points and four triples. A practitioner of a lost art, Bone made an impressive five-of-six of his midrange tries and went an efficient 10-of-19 from the field overall.
Justin Anderson had a difficult game despite his 23 points. The 905 made it a point to attack him and Queen at every opportunity, disallowing the pair from taking possessions off to rest in their starter-heavy eight-man rotation. He was also called for a technical foul for arguing with an official and a Flagrant 1 for inadvertently whacking Dowtin in the face as he attempted to steal the ball.
905 forward Gabe Brown had a standout performance with a regular season-high of 21 points and four triples on 53.8 FG% off the bench. The 905 are 4-1 whenever Brown scores at least 20 points.
Often the tallest player on the floor, the 7’0” Kylor Kelley feasted on the boards and was nearly unstoppable in the high pick and roll. For a second consecutive game, the big man has broken a personal record in the NBA G League, scoring a career-high 18 points while also pulling down seven rebounds.
“[The bench] was awesome,” said 905 head coach Eric Khoury. “They brought a spark, and then Kylor and Gabe specifically were super energetic today. The rest of the guys were really good too, don’t get me wrong, but those guys really brought a lot both on offence and defence.”
Fellow seven-footer Christian Koloko had a quieter game with just six points and nine rebounds.
The Raptors 905 debuted new “Sauga” jerseys for Saturday afternoon’s “Welcome 905 Creator” event – a celebration of culture, basketball, and art.
The G League Ignite will be visiting Mississauga for a highly anticipated first ever matchup with the Raptors 905 on Monday, Mar. 6 at 7:30 P.M. EST. The Ignite features Canadian and Toronto native Leonard Miller as well as probable number two overall pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, Scoot Henderson. Should be a great homecoming for Miller.
Saturday afternoon’s Fort Wayne Mad Ants vs. Raptors 905 box score click HERE.