FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Recent history an indicator, there was little doubt the Maine Red Claws and Fort Wayne Mad Ants would be in tight against one another Tuesday in the first game of their best-of-3 playoff series.

For the third time this season, the teams battled to a one-point decision, and on this occasion, the Mad Ants came out in front.

CJ Fair and Jordan Crawford hit for 28 points each and Matt Bouldin added 12 more as Fort Wayne edged Maine 104-103 in their D-League playoff opener.

Maine led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter before Fort Wayne started to chip away, and with 4:06 to play, the Mad Ants caught and passed the top-seeded Red Claws on a Fair bank shot. A Marcus Simmons dunk made it a three-point Fort Wayne advantage before Romero Osby added a bucket and a free throw to knot the game at 96. The teams traded baskets and each missed opportunities in the final minute to send the game into overtime.

Fair hit a turnaround jumper to open the extra frame, and Omari Johnson replied with a trey for the Claws for a one-point lead.

Bouldin made a driving layup with 9.6 seconds remaining for a one-point lead and Osby missed a jumper at the other end in the waning seconds for Maine.

The teams will regroup and play the next game of their series at the Portland Expo on Saturday at 4 p.m. Game 3, if necessary, would be Sunday, also at the Expo, and also at 4 p.m.

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