Orlando, FL – The Orlando Wave played an exceptional second half and that became the difference in a thrilling four point win to open the new year of 2018. Orlando defeated the Giants, 103-99, in a very close game. The Wave give Jacksonville their first loss of the season. The defending ABA Champions drop to 8-1 and the loss snaps their 30 game winning streak, which dated back to December of 2016.
“We lost the game on the boards,” said Giants head coach Jerry Williams. “We have a lot of work to do in the coming weeks to improve.”
The unbeaten Wave challenged Jacksonville early in the game with aggressive play, containing the fast tempo Giants with strong rebounding. The Wave played physical defense and jumped out to an early first half lead. However, the Giants were able to make crucial shots, using superb guard play, in the second quarter to take a 46–42 halftime lead.
Following the half, both teams went back and forth the remainder of the contest. Towards the end of regulation, Orlando was able to convert points on key possessions to regain the lead. Orlando landed 11 three-point baskets in the game and out-rebounded the Giants all evening.
“We lost a tough game to a very formidable opponent,” said assistant coach Marcus Thomas.
Offensively Jacksonville was led by two-time ABA All Star Maurice Mickens. Mickens scored a team high 26 points on the evening and was tough to stop. When Mickens was being double teamed, Bernard Nugent was able to step in and contribute. Nugent, normally just a defensive specialist, added 20 points with 7 assists. Calvin Warner (16 points) and Jermaine Bell (14 points) closed out the scoring leaders for the Giants.
“The guys fought hard the whole game,” said Williams. “A few mistakes at the end cost us.”
The Giants will return to the court on Sunday in a matchup with the Florida All Stars at the MLK Center before returning to Jacksonville to hit the court at Edwards Waters College on Saturday, January 13th, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. against the visiting DMV Warriors. For ticket information call 904-355-6531.