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Without Pinson and Creek, Long Island Nets go down to Salt Lake City Stars

Long Island Nets

Alan Williams’ 27 point night and Shannon Scott’s latest triple double weren’t enough as the Salt Lake City Stars handed the Long Island Nets their second straight loss in Utah.

It was an odd game, with two of Long Island’s players, Theo Pinson and Mitch Creek, playing in Brooklyn and both teams short-handed for a variety of reasons. Both Pinson and Creek did well in the black-and-white, but were missed by the red, white and blue.

In fact, both the Long Island and Salt Lake City entered the game with only eight players available.

In addition to being without Pinson and Creek (as well as the injured Dzanan Musa), Tahjere McCall and Thomas Wimbush were not available (coach’s decision) for Long Island. For Salt Lake, Trevon Bluiett and Tre’Shaun Fletcher were ruled out with right thumb injuries.

So it was up to Nets two-way player Alan Williams to save the day. And he sure tried. Big Sauce was leading scorer for the Long Island with a game-high 27 points to go along with his five rebounds, four assists, one block, and one steal. Scott finished with 13/11/11, his third triple double of the season. But Salt Lake’s short roster was better than Long Island’s.

Okaro White scored 19 points and 13 rebounds recording a double-double for the third straight game. Long Island acquired him after Washington waived him in December.

Newest City Stars player Tanner McGrew had a team high 25 points on 10-of-18 shooting. Isaiah Cousins, brother of DeMarcus, recorded 21 points on 7-of-16 shooting. Shonn Miller had 20 points to go along with his 9 rebounds and two assists.

The Nets shot 35-of-88 from the field (39.8%) and 11-of-36 from three in the loss. Salt Lake shot 44-of-90 from the field (48.9%) and 12-of-36 from behind the arc (33.3%).

With no Pinson, McCall, or Wimbush for Long Island, Nets head coach Will Weaver started Nuni Omit, Shannon Scott, Ismael Sanogo, Williams and White.

Both teams started off sluggishly but Williams dominated until he racked up his third personal early. He had scored eight of Long Island’s first 13 points. For Salt Lake, Isaac Haas gave the Nets problems in the paint scoring leading to a strong scoring run for the City Stars. The City Stars continued to control both ends of the floor and ending the first with a 14 point lead. The box score after one 29-18 Stars.

Salt Lake had seven of their eight players get on the scoring board with Cousins leading the team with seven points.

For the Nets, Williams led the team in first quarter and was the only player in double digit scoring with 10 points while Scott and Kamari Murphy recorded three points.

The City Stars continued to stay hot on the offensive end and lock down Long Island on the defensive end. Salt Lake scored 10 points in four minutes while the Nets did not score until 8:56 mark. Stars Haas picked up his fourth foul sending him to the bench for the rest of the quarter. Salt Lake continued their strong scoring throughout the second period holding their lead. Late in the second quarter, Long Island cut Salt Lake’s lead to 10 points.

The Nets did a good job of getting to the foul line in the closing minutes of the second period decreasing the Stars lead to single digits. Williams continued to provide the Nets with consistent scoring ending the quarter with 19 of the Nets 46 first half points.

Salt Lake led the Nets 53-46 at the end of the first half. McGrew and Cousins were the high scorers for the City Stars with 10 points each.

The City Stars started the second half on another hot scoring run extending their lead back to double digits. Salt Lake controlled the game throughout the third quarter locking down the Nets on the defensive end and scoring the ball from mid-range from behind the arc.

For Long Island, Murphy, the Coney Island native, had a good third quarter posting a total of 15 points while Williams sat a good amount of the quarter but had 19 points, four rebounds, and four assists heading into the final period.

Salt Lake had five players in double digit scoring at the end of the third quarter with three players scoring 16 or more points. McGrew and Cousins both had 17 points heading into the final period.

Heading into the fourth, Long Island had 14 turnovers while Salt Lake turned over the ball eight times. Salt Lake led Long Island 87-73.

Salt Lake continued to dominant in the fourth. McGrew had another impressive quarter for Salt Lake growing their lead. The Nets struggled throughout the quarter scoring the ball and only scored a total of nine points. The City Stars on the other hand scored 22 points in the final period to secure the win 109-96.

With the loss, Long Island holds a two game losing streak with both losses coming by double digits. The Nets look to bounce back against the Agua Caliente Clippers in the second of a four game road trip.