Long island looked like it was about to snap its two-game losing streak as the third quarter ended Sunday but the Bulls had other plans. Windy City scored 46 points in the fourth to hand Long Island their third straight loss in bizarre G League contest at Nassau Coliseum.
The Nets had five players in double-figures in their third straight loss. Rodions Kurucs, who was assigned to the team before tip off, recorded 14 points, five rebounds, and four assists in a team-high 32 minutes. Almost immediately after the game —and a fan event— Kurucs was recalled by Brooklyn.
The Nets two-ways played well, combining for 32 points in 55 combined minutes per game. Ellenson was the high man out of the two-way players, scoring 17 points. Long Island’s 6’11” center John Egbunu came within a rebound of a double-double, 10 points and nine boards.
With Kurucs, the Nets had 400 games of NBA experience on their roster against Windy City: Luwawu-Cabarrot (171 games), Ellenson (76 games), Kurucs (71 games), CJ Williams (63 games) and Deng Adel (19 games).
Shaun Fein took advantage of the experience, starting Luwawu-Cabarrot, Kurucs, and Ellenson as well as Devin Cannady and Jaylen Hands, both of whom were averaging better than 15 points a game. But the two combined for only 10 points Sunday. Similarly, Adel and C.J. Massinburg, who each had 20+ point games in the past week, finished with two and three points vs. Windy City.
To say the loss was disappointing would be an understatement. After playing three solid quarters, the Nets suffered an epic collapse in the fourth. Long Island, like its parent club, is still trying to figure out what works despite all that individual experience.
The Nets started fast, leading 29-13 at the end of the first. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored nine of the Nets first 11 points. After scoring 137 in a loss to Delaware two nights ago, Long Island slowed the pace, passing the ball around the perimeter instead of trying to win a track meet.
As a team, Long Island shot 9-of-21 from the field (42.9 percent) and 5-of-11 from three (45.5 percent). The Nets biggest lead in the first was 16-2.
Long Island started the second quarter where they left off in the first. Windy City struggled to defend the perimeter and keep up with Long Island’s ball movement. With 6:24 left in the second, Windy City called a timeout, trailing 40-29.
Bol turned it on in the second half of the second quarter, cutting the Bulls deficit to nine with 3:11 left, then was subbed out, returning in the final minute. Following a little run by the Bulls, Long Island maintained control during the closing minutes of the second.
The Nets led 48-34 at the half, shooting 18-of-43 (42 percent) from the field and 5-of-19 (26 percent) from three. Long Island recorded 14 turnovers at the half while Windy City recorded only seven. Luwawu-Cabarrot led the team at the half with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field in 10 minutes of play followed by Ellenson with nine points on 3-of-8 shooting in 15 minutes of play. Long Island not only dominated the scoring, but outrebounded the Bulls 32-17 in the first half.
Long Island kept playing well in the third on both ends of the floor while Windy City struggled to find some rhythm in the closing half of the third. In addition, the Bulls found themselves in foul trouble. Bol, after recording his third personal foul, was subbed out of the game midway through the third
The Nets played good defense in the closing minutes of the third, forcing Windy City to make turnovers. At the end of three, Long Island led 71-61. The Nets recorded 20 turnovers heading into the fourth while the Bulls had 15.
Then, the bottom fell out.
The Bulls started the fourth quarter on a 17-5 scoring run to take the lead. With 7:28 left in the game, Fein called a timeout with the Nets down 80-76. The Nets struggled to find a rhythm midway through the fourth while the Bulls began to pull away.
With four minutes remaining in the game, Kurucs picked up a technical foul and Windy City extended their lead to eight. The Nets couldn’t mount a comeback and Windy City ran away with the game, outscoring Long Island, 46-16. Not a typo.
For Windy City, Milton Doyle, former Net, recorded 10 points, four rebounds, and three assists in the win in 33 minutes of play.
The game also featured an appearance from one of the big names in last June’s Draft. With 5:55 left in the first, Bol Bol, on assignment from Denver, checked into the game to an ovation from the Coliseum crowd of 2,200. The 7’2” Bol, who had been projected as a top 5 pick in the Draft, blew out his knee early in the season and fell to No. 44. He played 13 minutes recording 10 points, three rebounds, and two blocks in the win.
Long Island wore their Military Appreciation jerseys...
Long Island Nets Military Appreciation jerseys for tomorrow’s game against Windy City.— Chris Milholen (@CMilholenSB) November 16, 2019
What do you guys think? pic.twitter.com/QYNdOq399x
Long Island will look to snap their three-game losing streak Friday when they travel to face the Canton Charge, the Cavs affiliate.