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Long Island Nets, in playoff run, defeat Maine Red Claws behind Doyle, Webb

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Brooklyn Nets

The Long Island Nets need to keep winning to make the G-League playoffs and they took another step Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum, defeating the Maine Red Claws 105-98.

Long Island is now 21-16 and has a bit of a cushion as the league’s 26 teams vie for 12 playoff positions. But they need to avoid another slump, the kind they experienced mid season. The playoffs begin March 27.

The home win followed a couple of script lines familiar to Long Island fans. They started fast, then relied on Milton Doyle, the reigning G-League player of the week.

Tahjere McCall’s early scoring, including a cutting drive to the basket that put Long Island up 22-5 run, ignited the home team. They went up by as many as 30 and held a comfortable lead going into the fourth when Maine (16-22) closed with a 17-3 run in the final seven minutes, pulling within seven on a Trey Davis 3-pointer with 13 seconds left.

That was it for Maine and the Nets held on to win.

Milton Doyle who had 42 points in a triple double before the break finished with 25 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals while shooting 4-of-11 on 3-pointers. Doyle wound up playing 40 minutes. The Nets other two-way, 6’9” stretch 4 James Webb III had 22 points, eight rebounds, three steals and a block. Webb hit 3-of-8 from deep.

McCall was one of four other Nets in double figures. McCall, at 6’5” one of the league’s most versatile defenders, finished with 14 points, all but four in the first quarter. Kamari Murphy, Long Island’s Brooklyn product had another double-double, this time 12 and 12. Yakuba Ouattara, who was one of the Nets two-way contracts at the beginning of then season then injured his leg, had 11.

Thursday is the G-League’s trade deadline. The Nets signed Molloy College star Charlie Marquardt on Tuesday. It’s his second run with Long Island.