For three quarters the Maine Red Claws appeared out of sorts, trailing at each break by double digits.

Then came a mad scramble against the Mad Ants.

A furious comeback resulted in a franchise record for 3-pointers but wasn’t enough to overcome Fort Wayne, which never trailed in a 109-104 NBA D-League basketball victory over the Red Claws before a crowd of 2,501 Saturday night at the Portland Expo.

Celtics rookie James Young poured in 33 points on 9-of-13 shooting from behind the arc and Omari Johnson added 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Red Claws, who trailed by 24 early in the fourth, cut the margin to three in the final minute.

“They were coming hard at us,” said Mad Ants Coach Conner Henry, who visited with his old Celtics teammate Danny Ainge – now Boston’s president of basketball operations – at halftime. “Even on a back to back, they never quit. It got real tight.”

The Claws flew back from Ohio Saturday morning after playing in Canton on Friday night and came out as if suffering from jet lag. Fort Wayne scored the first eight points and jumped to a 17-point lead.

“The first quarter was pretty brutal, defensively,” said Red Claws Coach Scott Morrison. “I thought our guys came out pretty flat and their guys came out pretty strong, hit some tough shots and really took it to us.”

Andre Emmett led Fort Wayne with 32 points and Gary Talton chipped in with 18. The Mad Ants (18-12) had won nine of 10 before losing at home Thursday night against Iowa.

Seemingly out of contention early in the fourth, the Red Claws went on a 39-18 run sparked by five 3-pointers by Young to make it 105-102 with just under a minute remaining.

“We just fought hard,” Young said. “On the offensive end, Coach drew up some nice plays for us and we just executed. We got stops and got rebounds.”

The Claws came no closer. Emmett, a 32-year-old drafted in the second round back in 2004 by Seattle, scored twice from close range to secure the victory.

Maine point guard Tim Frazier finished with 16 assists – only two fewer than Fort Wayne’s team total – and the Red Claws set a record for 3-pointers (22) for the third time this season.

The loss is the fourth in five games for Maine (18-9), whose lineup included two players on assignment from the parent Celtics: Young and the recently signed Andre Dawkins, who scored 17 points on 6-for-15 shooting.

The Red Claws return to action Thursday night at the Expo against Iowa.

NOTES: Frazier’s triple-double in Friday’s 104-92 victory in Canton was the sixth in franchise history and his second of the season. He finished with 13 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists. … Forward Mike Schachtner, signed as a free agent Wednesday, made his Expo debut. He missed two shots and grabbed an offensive rebound. Schachtner had played 14 games with Erie before being released. … Chris Babb (knee) missed his fourth straight game, Andre Stringer (ankle) his sixth.