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Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot goes for 35 and 15 but Long Island falls to Canton at buzzer

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The Long Island Nets suffered their fourth straight loss in Canton, Ohio, Friday night behind a buzzer-beating layup by Sheldon Mac, but Nets two-way Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot had a near triple-double, scoring 35 points, grabbing 15 boards and handing out seven assists.

Final score: the Canton Charge 118, Long Island Nets 117.

The loss was particularly tough because the young Nets led from the first quarter till 22.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter. They’re now 1-4.

Rodions Kurucs, who was listed as a starter prior to tipoff, did not play in the loss and the Nets provided no explanation as to why the change. Henry Ellenson, the Nets other two-way, was with Brooklyn, playing late in the fourth quarter.

The Nets had four players in double-figures and two big time performances.

Luwawu-Cabarrot shot 14-of-20 overall, 4-of-6 from downtown and hit what should have been the dagger with seconds left...

John Egbunu, Long Island’s near seven foot center, put up big numbers as well tallying 22 while shooting a perfect 11-of-11 from the field in 24 minutes of play.

Nets second rounder Jaylen Hands recorded 14 points, four rebounds, and four assists in 23 minutes of play. The former UCLA guard shot 5-of-10 from the field and 2-of-5 from three. In the turnover department, Hands is still a work-in-progress, losing the ball four times. Jahmal McMurray, the diminutive shooting guard out of SMU scored 14 points, grabbed four rebounds, and handed out two assists.

Long Island shot 47-of-80 from the field (59 percent) and 14-of-34 from three (41 percent). The Nets tallied 18 turnovers in the loss.

The Nets led the whole game till late in the fourth, but played sloppily in the final two minutes of the game and it cost them a much-needed win. With 1:06 remaining, Mac connected on an and-one drive to cut Long Island lead to one ... the Nets had entered the fourth up eight. Following a three by the Charge, Luwawu-Cabarrot drained a three of his own with 4.7 second left in the game. Then it was hero time for the 6’6” Mac who went right at TLC, beating him off the dribble with a crossover, then hanging in the air long enough to scoop it under Williams’ out-stretched arm.

For the Cavs affiliate, Mac was the game-high scorer, coming off the bench to put up 34 points, four rebounds, and four assists in 33 minutes of play, much of it coming in Canton’s fourth quarter comeback.

“I’ve never hit a game-winner like that,” Mac said post-game. “That was a dream come true. You dream of hitting game-winners no matter what level.”

Sir’Dominic Pointer had a big game as well for the Charge tallying 23 points, four rebounds, and two assists. He shot 8-of-14 from the field and 3-of-7 from three. Pointer hit a huge three with 22.6 seconds left in the game to give his team their first lead of the second half.

As a team, the Charge started off sloppy but turned it around when it mattered; in the fourth quarter. Canton shot 43-of-86 from the field (50 percent) and 12-of-29 from three (41 percent). The Charge turned over the ball 12 times in the win.

The Long Island Nets started Hands, Luwawu-Cabarrot, Egbunu, Devin Cannady and C.J. Williams.

The Nets began the contest with a good offensive rhythm while the Charge opened sloppy. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored seven of the Nets first 11 points with Long Island showing patience on the offensive end aa they moved the ball well. The Charge had trouble defending the pick-and-roll early in the first and had no solution to stop Egbunu in the lane. With 5:24 remaining in the first, Charge called a timeout trailing Long Island 24-9.

Nets coach Shaun Fein subbed in the second unit with five minutes remaining in the first with his team up by 13. With 3:29 left in the first, Fein called a 30-second timeout with his team up 24-14. Following the timeout, the Charge began to turn it on and cut their deficit to single digits.

At the end of the first, Long Island led Canton 28-21. Luwawu-Cabarrot led the Nets in scoring with nine points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and six rebounds in seven minutes. Egbunu had a productive first quarter scoring eight points in five minutes. As a team, Long Island shot 12-22 from the field (55 percent) and 2-of-9 from three (22 percent). The Nets recorded only three turnovers in the first.

Long Island continued to hold their lead throughout the second quarter. The Nets had their shooting working for them throughout the second quarter while continuing to feed Egbunu down low. The Charge continued to struggle finding a solution to guard Egbunu.

At the end of the first half, the Nets led the Charge 64-51. The Nets had a good offensive first half, shooting 27-42 from the field (64 percent) and 8-of-18 from three (44 percent). Both Luwawu-Cabarrot and Egbunu recorded 16 points, with Egbunu shooting a perfect 6-of-6 from the field. The Charge shot 20-of-42 from the field (48 percent) and 6-of-17 from three (35 percent) in the first half but their biggest problem was defending the lane and post.

The Nets continued their offensive rhythm in the third quarter while the Charge tried to find one. On the defensive end, Long Island played well. The Charge struggled shooting the three-ball, which led to multiple fast break opportunities for the Nets. In the closing minutes of the third, Canton began to pull together a run, cutting their deficit to only eight points at the end of the third.

The Nets maintained to hold a good lead throughout the fourth quarter, then once again collapsed.

Luwawu-Cabarrot was the best game by a Nets two-way since last year when Theo Pinson recorded the franchise’s first triple double. The Nets are his fourth NBA team, having played for the 76ers, Thunder and Cavaliers before being signed by the Nets.