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Santa Cruz Warriors: Santa Cruz Warriors, Fort Wayne Mad Ants meet in Finals

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 23rd, 2014

Santa Cruz Warriors guard Cam Jones puts in a layup during a Wednesday practice in preparation for Game 1 of the NBA D-League Finals against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants today at 6:30 p.m. at Kaiser Permanente Arena in Santa Cruz. Tony Nunez/Register-Pajaronian

SANTA CRUZ — After all the draft-day trades, mid-season call ups and postseason success it all comes down to a final best of three series.

Santa Cruz is hoping the second go-around turns out a little better.

After coming back from a 136-113 trouncing in Game 2 of the NBA D-League semifinals and winning Game 3 147-128 to relinquish the defending champion Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Warriors now face off against the No. 1 seed Fort Wayne Mad Ants in the Finals.

Santa Cruz will host Game 1 today at 6:30 p.m.

“It was good that we beat RGV,” said second-year Warriors Cam Jones, “because RGV was the team that ended our season last year, so it was good to finish that series and get that off our back. But we’re looking ahead to these finals. We’re looking to win it and play well hopefully.”

Fort Wayne and Santa Cruz butted heads earlier in the season with the latter taking the 101-97 win.

But much has changed since.

In that meeting the Warriors were without rookie guard Seth Curry -- he was in the NBA with the Memphis Grizzlies -- and bigmen Hilton Armstrong and DeWayne Dedmon were still with the team.

Now, both Armstrong and Dedmon have moved up to the association and Curry is back with Santa Cruz and playing better than ever.

But impressively, the Mad Ants are even hotter than the Warriors.

They’ve won their last 10 games including sweeps of the Reno Bighorns and the Sioux Falls Skyforce in the first quarter and semifinal round of the playoffs, respectively.

For the complete article see the 04-24-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 04-24-2014 paper.

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