Abdel Nader, on his second assignment of the season from the Boston Celtics to the Maine Red Claws, and Guerschon Yabusele, on his third, combined for 23 field goals Thursday night.

But it was the basket they prevented in the final five seconds that mattered most.

Nader got credit for the block and Yabusele for the rebound to prevent Ben Moore of Fort Wayne from converting an offensive rebound that would have given the Mad Ants the lead.

Instead it was the Red Claws, after blowing a 20-point advantage, who scored the final seven points of a 110-107 victory before a crowd of 1,425 at the Portland Expo.

“(Moore) tried to tip it back in and I think me and (Yabusele) both got a piece of it,” said Nader, adding with a smile, “It’s not a foul if they don’t call it.”

Nader finished with 35 points, including 7 of 9 from the foul line. He felt there was enough contact on several drives to warrant more free throws but, “they kind of let us play, which is what you want at the end of a game,” he said. “You don’t want the referees deciding the game for you.”

The victory ended a two-game losing streak for the Claws (9-8). The loss was the third straight for Fort Wayne (10-5).

The Mad Ants are familiar foes for the Red Claws, who matched up with them in the first round of the playoffs the past two seasons.

Fort Wayne knocked off the Claws in 2015 (with the decisive game played at Cross Insurance Arena because of a Home Show in the Expo), but Maine returned the favor last spring.

“If they’re not the best team in the G League, they’re top two or three at least,” said Red Claws Coach Brandon Bailey. “They have great players and a great staff.”

The Claws built a 58-38 lead and ended the half on a three-point play by Jabari Bird to reach intermission ahead by 17. Nader was particularly effective with 24 points, many on slashing drives.

But Fort Wayne tightened its defense in the third quarter, cut the margin to single digits, and finally made it 97-97 with just over three minutes remaining on a drive by Walter Lemon Jr. (19 points, six assists).

“Our team got stagnant because of them,” Bailey said. “They switched up some coverages. They pressured us a little more and got us out of our rhythm.”

A pair of 3-pointers from Jarrod Uthoff (25 points, eight rebounds) gave the Ants a 105-101 lead with 1:18 remaining. After Yabusele and Lemon each converted from in close, the Claws still trailed by four with 30 seconds left.

Following a timeout, Kadeem Allen rescued a broken play by driving the lane and kicking to Nader in the left corner for a 3-pointer to make it 107-106.

“That was just great vision by him,” Nader said. “It wasn’t what we drew up but it worked out.”

A successful trap near halfcourt by Allen and Yabusele led to an Allen steal and a Yabusele putback for a 108-107 Maine lead with 15 seconds left. After the Nader-Yabusele block, Fort Wayne was forced to foul Allen, who hit two free throws with 3.4 seconds remaining. The Mad Ants missed a desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer.

“You play for those moments,” Yabusele said. “You just compete.”

The Claws return Saturday night against Salt Lake City. Nader and Yabusele are expected back with Boston this weekend.

“We let off the gas a little bit,” said Allen, who finished with 17 points and six assists, “but we pulled it out in the end. We played together, fought hard and got the win.”

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