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Eight was enough

An unprecedented Mad Ants winning streak that began three weeks ago ended Friday with a 126-115 loss to the Bakersfield Jam in Bakersfield, Calif.

The Ants played all but three minutes of the game without leading scorer Ron Howard, who was injured and did not return. Howard, the team's 6-foot-5 guard who averaged 19.2 points per game, remained on the Ants bench in the first half, but did not join the team in the second half. The extent of his injury is uncertain.

"Hopefully nothing serious," Mad Ants president Jeff Potter said in a text message.

It was the first loss after the Ants won a franchise-record eight straight, dating back to the first win Dec. 28 against Texas. Previously, the most consecutive wins the franchise had were four.

The Ants (11-11) won five of the eight games away from Memorial Coliseum, including two at the NBA Showcase in Reno, Nev. on Jan. 9 and 10. They won at Erie, Pa. and at the Los Angeles D-Fenders on Wednesday before falling to West Division-leading Bakersfield (14-7).

Luke Harangody had 26 points and 11 rebounds Friday, Anthony Richardson had 26 points, and Tony Mitchell added 24.

The game also marked the Ants debut of 6-foot-10 forward Tommy Smith, who was chosen by the Ants in the D-League draft but could not join the team due to personal issues. Smith had six points and five rebounds in 13 minutes.

The Mad Ants play Los Angeles on Saturday, with a 9:30 p.m. tip.

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