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Knicks take down rival Nets in G-League match-up

You can’t exactly describe the rivalry between the Nets and Knicks G-League clubs as “crosstown.” Cross-county maybe with the Nets in Nassau and the Knicks in Westchester. But make no mistake, it’s increasingly a rivalry this season as the two are battling for the league’s Atlantic Division title.

On Friday night, the Westchester Knicks (16-8) avoided a late comeback from the Nets’ affiliate in a 104-92 win on Long Island.

Westchester’s Trey Burke, who played at Michigan with the Nets Caris LeVert and Nik Stauskas as well as the Knicks’ Tim Hardaway Jr. led all scorers with 34 points on 11-of-23 shooting to go with six rebounds and four steals. Xavier Rathan-Mayes followed up his career-high performance his last time out with 26 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in tonight’s win. Westchester is now a game ahead of Long Island in the division.

Long Island guard Shannon Scott, who shared an Ohio State backcourt with D’Angelo Russell, paced his team with 18 points, six rebounds, and two steals. Nets Two-Way player Milton Doyle, just back from a stint with Brooklyn, supplied 16 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Guard Tahjere McCall put in 11 points with five rebounds, while JJ Moore, Jeremy Senglin, and Akil Mitchell (who played four years with Joe Harris at Virginia) put up double-digits from the bench with 14, 12, and 10 respectively. Jacob Wiley, the Nets other two-way player, went scoreless in 18 minutes.

In the first meeting of the season between the two teams from New York, Westchester and Long Island went shot-for-shot to open up the game, keeping it close through the first twelve minutes. The Knicks opened the second quarter with a quick five points though, widening the gap to eight. After Long Island’s Moore answered back with a three, Westchester used a 9-2 to extend its lead to double-digits. With a 15-point quarter from Westchester’s Rathan-Mayes, the Knicks held a hefty 11-point lead over the Nets at the half.

Long Island went on a 18-10 run to start the third, pulling back within two. Though they failed to regain the lead, the Nets put the pressure on the Knicks and remained at minus-two to start the final quarter.

Early in the fourth, Long Island tied it up 80-80 and managed to take the lead with 4:33 on the clock. What steam the home team used to make their move ran out though, as the Knicks took over and piled on another 19 points to the Nets’ six to win the game.