Story by Matt Potak

The defending ABA National Champion Jacksonville Giants lost in a grueling matchup with Chicago Fury. Jacksonville played a hard fought game but fell short, 116-104, to the #3 ranked team in the Country.

“We played a hard against a really good team,” said head coach Jerry Williams.

The road loss was the first of the season for Jacksonville, which falls to 16-1. Chicago improves to 15-1 and will likely take the #1 spot in the newest power rankings. The updated power rankings will post next week.

“We needed this loss to open our eyes and refocus,” said Williams. “We will be back.”

The Giants held a 49-47 halftime lead. Early in the game both teams were playing strong. It was a back and forth battle between the #1 and #3 ranked teams in the ABA. Chicago was led by strong shooting from Davonte Jones and Dabriawn Johnson. The duo combined for 24 points in the first half. Jacksonville was led by the usual duo of reigning league MVP Maurice Mickens and last years tournament MVP Bernard Nugent. Both Mickens and Nugent landed great shots throughout the half.

Jacksonville started to have issues in the third quarter. The Giants gave up their lead midway through the quarter and had difficulties responding to the Chicago shooting game. Chicago was also able to out-rebound Jacksonville throughout the second half. The Giants were out scored 35-20 in the third quarter.

The deficit was too much to overcome as Chicago maintained their lead for the remainder of the game. The Giants fought hard but we’re unable to make a come back. Jacksonville could have a chance to play the Fury again in the ABA tournament this upcoming April.

“It’s time to refocus,” said newcomer Travis McConico.

Ortho One Giants GameBox vs Chicago Fury

Star of the Game:
Reigning league MVP Maurice Mickens scored a team high 25 points. Mickens was strong in all phases for the Giants and played strong until the end.

Turning Point:
Chicago outscored the Giants 35 to 20 in the third quarter. The deficit was too much for Jacksonville to overcome.

On Defense:
The Giants struggle defensively in the second half. Chicago was able to capitalize on multiple Jacksonville turnovers. The miscues caused issues for the Giants.

Up Next:
Jacksonville resumes their road trip with a showdown with the Chicago Steam on Saturday evening.