Dzanan Musa and Rodions Kurucs combined for 29 points as the Long Island Nets beat the Windy City Bulls, 113-99, Friday night, the first game of a G League back-to-back. The win gives the Nets a 5-1 record, tops in the Eastern Conference.
Brooklyn’s two rookies were assigned to Long Island earlier in the week. It was the second time the two have played together on Long Island. Musa scored 16 points on 7-of-19 shooting in 29 minutes to go along with eight boards and two blocked shots. Kurucs had an even more productive night, scoring 13 points in 15 minutes. He shot 5-of-8 overall and added eight rebounds.
Windy City was led by Rawle Alkins who tallied a game-high 29 points and added a career-high eight rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Long Island was without the services of Nets two-way Alan Williams, who leads the G League in rebounds per game. Meanwhile, Mitchell Creek poured in a career-high 19 points and added seven rebounds and two assists in a reserve role. Jordan McLaughlin, the USC point guard, totaled 17 points and four assists off the bench. Drew Gordon recorded his first double-double of the season with 10 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.
Windy City began the game making three of their first six baskets to grab an early 6-5 lead, but that is the only time the Bulls led in the contest. After leading by one, Long Island rattled off nine consecutive points to take an eight-point advantage.
The Bulls sliced the lead to four on an old fashioned three-point play by Gates, but the Nets scored seven of the next nine points to extend their lead to nine with under two remaining. Seven Windy City players cracked the scoring column in the opening 12 minutes, but as team, the Bulls only managed eight field goals. For the fifth time this season, Windy City failed to score 20 points in the first quarter and trailed 25-18 heading into the second quarter.
Long Island opened the second period with a three-pointer by Kurucs to grab their first double-digit lead of the night. Windy City’s offensive struggles persisted in the second quarter, allowing the Nets to lead by double digits for most of the quarter. The Bulls managed to cut the lead to eight on a layup by C.J. Fair, but that is as close as they would get. Following the basket, Long Island extended their lead to 15 on the heels of a 9-0 spurt, which forced a Windy City timeout with 2:33 left to play in the first half. Long Island would eventually lead by 19, their largest of the first half. The Nets outscored the Bulls 37-25 in the stanza and led 62-43 at the intermission.
The Nets began the second half with a three-pointer, which opened a 21-point lead. The Bulls made a small run halfway through the period and used a 12-6 run to make it a 16-point game. However, the Nets would close the quarter with an 11-2 run of their run to lead by 25, which was their largest of the evening. In the period, Windy City went 1-for-9 from the three-point line, shot 29 percent from the field and trailed 87-62 heading into the final 12 minutes.
Alkins came to life in the fourth quarter collecting nine of his 12 field goals while scoring 22 points in the frame. Windy City managed to trim the led to 13 early in the period, but that is as close as they would get. Long Island re-opened a 20-point lead on a three-point play by Thomas Wimbish and won their fifth game of the season in convincing fashion, 113-99.