The Erie BayHawks had their five-game winning streak snapped in an 106-84 loss to Fort Wayne at Erie Insurance Arena on Saturday night.
The Mad Ants (5-10) won their first road game in seven tries and avenged a season-opening loss to the BayHawks (7-5). Ron Howard and Tony Mitchell each had 26 points to lead Fort Wayne while Henry Sims scored a team-high 22 points for the BayHawks.
With New York Knicks senior vice president Glen Grunwald in attendance, the BayHawks clinched a playoff berth with an 110-108 victory Tuesday night at Tullio Arena.
The Knicks are Erie’s NBA hybrid affiliate.
Erie (27-21) has made the D-League playoffs in three of its four D-League seasons, doing so last season and this season under Jay Larranaga. In 2009 as expansion franchise, Erie made it under John Treloar.
The BayHawks still have a shot at winning the East Conference, which would give then the No. 2 seed in the playoffs and the opportunity to pick their first-round playoff opponent. The BayHawks are a game behind conference leader Dakota (28-20).
Erie needs to win its last two games against Canton (26-21) on Friday at home and Saturday at Canton and have Dakota lose its last two games at Fort Wayne on Friday and Saturday.
At 12-35, the Mad Ants have the D-League’s worst record. Since the Wizards own the tiebreaker against Erie, the BayHawks must finish a game ahead of them to win the conference.
Joey and Stephen Graham got reacquainted Friday night.
The 29-year old twin brothers are in the D-League and played against each other in Erie’s 103-102 win against Fort Wayne at Tullio Arena. Joey Graham is with the BayHawks while Stephen Graham is with the Mad Ants.
Both played in the NBA. The two will see each other on the court again tonight at 7 at Tullio Arena. It’s the last time Erie and Fort Wayne will play each other this season.
Mychel Thompson made it happen tonight, but the Fort Wayne Mad Ants helped him out.
With the Erie BayHawks down two, Thompson made a steal, drew a foul and threw up a shot Ramon Harris goal-tended. Thompson made the ensuing FT with 6.8 seconds left to give the BayHawks a 103-102 victory at Tullio Arena.
The Erie BayHawks will have former NBA player Joey Graham for Thursday’s game against expansion Canton. The BayHawks (22-19) got Graham, who played for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, out of the D-League player pool. Graham, 29, also played for the Toronto Raptors and Denver Nuggets.
Graham’s twin brother, Stephen, is also in the D-League with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.
With Joey Graham, Erie has reached its 10-man roster limit, but have only nine players available as forward Sharrod Ford is recovering from a calf injury. At 6-7, 250-pounds, Graham gives Erie an inside presence who can defend and rebound.