Entering Monday’s game at Nassau Coliseum, the Long Island Nets had won both meetings against their Atlantic Division rival the Raptors 905 this season and had won the past five meetings against them.
Well, the Nets did not extend that streak. Long Island struggled to score the ball throughout the game and never held a lead in the game. With this loss, the Nets now have only two losses by double figures.
With the loss, the Nets fall to 18-9 and reduce their Eastern Conference lead to 1.5 games. Raptors 905 (17-11) is now tied for second in the Eastern Conference with the Lakeland Magic (16-10).
For the Raptors 905, their Big Three combined for 63 of their 113 points. Jordan Loyd was the high scorer with 24 points to go along with his six rebounds and six assists. Chris Boucher, one of the G League’s better prospects, went for 22 points and nine rebounds while Malachi Richardson recorded 17 points, five assists, and three rebounds.
Nets two-way Alan Williams scored 20 points and seven rebounds, half his average. The big man struggled shooting the ball going 9-for-24 from the field.
Okaro White, the former Heat and Wizard, recorded 17 points and 12 rebounds in the loss while Nets other two-way player Theo Pinson finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, and seven assists. He’s been averaging 20 a game.
Long Island Nets coach Will Weaver went with Pinson, Shannon Scott, Williams, Thomas Wimbush, and White to start the game. Pinson was averaging 29 points per game over his last three games not including Saturday’s suspended game against the Erie Bayhawks.
To put it politely, Long Island got off to a slow start in the first quarter, going down 16-2, forcing Will Weaver to call an early time out with 8:42 left in the first. The Nets slowly crept back into the game ending the quarter trailing 34-20. Raptors 905’s biggest lead was 16 points in the first period.
Williams underwent a particularly painful quarter, shooting 1-of-8 from the field and 2-of-4 from the free throw line scoring only four points. Pinson led the Nets in first quarter scoring with six points to go along with his five rebounds.
For Raptors 905, Duane Notice had a strong first with eight points shooting 3-for-5 from the field and 2-of-4 from behind the arc. Loyd had eight points as well for the Raptors 905.
The Nets started the second quarter playing well on both ends of the floor. Throughout the quarter, the Nets chipped away at the Raptors 905 lead but had trouble defending the Raptors shooting behind the arc.
Richardson had a hot second quarter for the Raptors 905 and their biggest scorer of the second quarter. He shot 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from behind the arc in the first half leaving him with 14 points to go along with his four assists and 2 rebounds. Loyd recorded 14 points, 5 assists, and 3 rebounds for the Raptors 905.
For the Nets, Williams struggled from the field in the first half shooting 6-of-17 and 0-of-2 from behind the arc, scoring 14 points. The Nets perimeter defense was its biggest problem. The Raps hit 11 three-point shots in the first half and closed the second quarter on a 16-4 run to extending their lead to 18 leaving the Nets trailing 60-42 and outscored the Nets 26-22 in the second quarter.
Williams did not start the second half but Pinson and White hit back-to-back threes. The Raptors called a timeout with 9:24 left in the third after the Nets 8-to-3 scoring run.
Then after letting their lead dwindle to 10 points, Raptors 905 began to turn it on. Long Island struggled to get back in the game. Frustration started to boil and Drew Gordon was charged with a flagrant foul in the closing minute. Raptors 905 continued to pile onto their lead and outscored Long Island 34-23 to end the game.
The Nets look to bounce back against the Salt Lake Stars on January 25; the first game of a four game road trip.