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Milton Doyle explodes for 34 points in Long Island win over Northern Arizona

Milton Doyle, the 6’4” combo guard who was with Brooklyn in training camp, exploded for 34 points in 31 minutes Thursday as the Long Island Nets won their third game, beating the Northern Arizona Suns, 117-115 in Prescott Valley, Arizona.

Doyle hit 8-of-14 three pointers and 12-of-19 shots overall in arguably the best single game any Long Island Net has played. He added four rebounds and two assists and only turned the ball over twice.

“Just shoot it,” Doyle said on his mentality with the ball. “[I] got a lot of open looks and the coaches tell me to take those open looks and don’t pass up too many shots.”

The Loyola Chicago product is now averaging 17.4 points in five games. He’s had an up-and-down couple of weeks —hitting only 1-of-8 threes on Sunday, for example. But Thursday night showed the 24-year-old’s potential.

Power forward Jacob Wiley, who had played in two games on the Nets recent road trip, added 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. His three pointer iced the game with 14.8 seconds left, putting the Nets up 117-115

Rounding out the scoring for Long Island was 6’7” small forward Thomas Wimbush, the Nets first pick in the G-League Draft, who finished with 17, including 3-of-6 from deep. Akil Mitchell, Joe Harris’ college teammate at UVA, scored 15 points playing center. Yakuba Ouattara, who along with Wiley, has a two-way deal with Brooklyn, was inactive for the fourth straight game. He has a sore left leg.

Doyle started fast with 14 points in the first quarter and 22 points in the first half, showing not just his shooting style but his athleticism.

At one point, Long Island was up 18-3 on the strength of Doyle’s early shooting.

Entering the game, the Suns (2-3) had the hottest offense in the league, averaging 127.5 points per game, while Long Island (3-2) was averaging the fewest points in the league at 91.3 points per game. The Nets would not be denied to start tonight though, scoring 32 points on 6-of-10 shooting beyond the arc in the first quarter, leading 21-5 less than four minutes into the game.

Northern Arizona got its deficit down to five at halftime and went on a 14-3 run to start the second half to take a five-point lead. From there on out, no team led by more than five points.

It was a back-and-forth finish. A Shaquille Harrison layup to give the Suns a one-point lead with 1:08 remaining was followed by an Mitchell jumper. Josh Gray then gave the Suns the lead again with a layup with 36.3 seconds remaining before Wiley nailed the three-pointer.

Overall, Long Island shot 49/46/86 for the game.

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson’s brother, Rahlir, had 14 points and six rebounds for Northern Arizona. He’s a Temple product who played overseas in Luxembourg and Canada. He’s 26, four years Rondae’s senior.