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CJ Williams and Jaylen Hands’ shooting leads Long Island Nets blowout vs. Northern Arizona Suns, 102-78

Raptors 905 v Long Island Nets Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets defeated the Northern Arizona Suns, 102-78 in day 3 of the G League Winter Showcase in Las Vegas. The Nets held their lead throughout the second half.

The Nets finished 1-1 in the Showcase after losing to the Rio Grande Valley Vipers Friday night.

The story behind the Nets bounce back win was their strong 3-point shooting. The Nets are no stranger to shooting the three ball. Entering the game, the Nets ranked third in the G League in 3-point attempts per game and fifth in 3-point field goals made per game.

Long Island hit 19 three’s, shooting at 41 percent. That ties the season-high for Long Island.

CJ Williams, Long Island’s veteran —he’s played 63 NBA games, led the Nets barrage. Williams went 6-of-6 from three in the win, ending his night with a game-high 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and four assists in 31 minutes of play.

Jaylen Hands, the Nets late second-round pick, had a big game for Long Island as well scoring 23 points to go along with seven assists, and three rebounds in 31 minutes of play. Hands shot 8-of-15 from the field and 5-of-9 from three in the win.

Post-game, the G League posted Hands’ comments about the win...

Hands’ game also won plaudits from pundits.

Devin Cannady had another solid outing for the Nets G League affiliate scoring 11 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and handing out two assists in the win. Cannady shot 4-of-13 from the field including 2-7 from three in 30 minutes of play.

Henry Ellenson, who scored 33 points Friday couldn’t find the basket Saturday. He finished 1-of-8 from three and 2-of-12 overall. He did contribute nine rebounds.

As a team, the Nets shot 34-of-84 from the field (40 percent) and 19-of-46 from three (41 percent) in the win, turning over the ball 19 times.

For the Suns, two-way guard Jared Harper scored 24 points in 28 minutes. The Suns fall to 2-15 on the season and losing both of their two games in the NBA G League Winter Showcase.

Shaun Fein and the Long Island Nets coaching staff started Cannady, Hands, Williams, Ash Yacoubou, and Jonathan Kasibabu.

The story of the first quarter was the scoring battle between Williams and Harper. Throughout the first quarter, both teams played well offensively but not so well on the defensive end. Williams, the Nets veteran tallied 12 points in seven minutes of play in the first. He shot 3-of-3 from the field, with all of his makes from three. For the Suns, Harper led the way with 14 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from beyond the arc in seven minutes of play.

At the end of one, the Suns led the Nets 27-23.

After both teams traded small scoring runs in the first half of the second quarter, the Nets began to play more consistently on both ends of the floor in the final four minutes of the half. Long Island piled together a 16-6 run to extend their lead to 11 with 3:11 remaining. The Nets closed out the quarter, leading by 11.

At the end of the first half, the Nets led 52-41.

Williams recorded 15 points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field and 4-of-4 from three in 16 minutes of play. Cannady began to heat up offensively in the second, tallying six points, three rebounds, and two assists in 17 minutes of play.

As a team, the Nets ended the first half shooting 17-of-43 from the field (40 percent) and 9-of-22

(41 percent) from three. Long Island outscored Northern Arizona 3-14 in the second quarter.

The third quarter was all about the Nets offense. Long Island’s offense had almost everything working well throughout the third quarter. The Nets did a good job moving the ball around the perimeter while finding cutters and using a penetration and kick offense.

At the end of the third, Long Island led 76-62.

Williams continued to shoot the lights out in Las Vegas, recording 23 points on 7-of-9 from the field and a perfect 6-of-6 from three in 25 minutes of play. Hands heated up in the third quarter, tallying 15 points, two rebounds, and five assists in 24 minutes of play heading into the fourth.

As a team, Long Island entered the final 12 minutes of play shooting 26-of-65 from the field (40 percent) and 15-of-35 from three (43 percent). For the second straight quarter, the Nets outscored Northern Arizona 24-21 in the third.

Both teams began the final 12 minutes of play focusing their offense around shooting the three ball. In addition, the overall play in the opening minutes of the fourth was not pretty on both ends. Both teams combined for only 11 total points in the first five minutes of play and the turnovers began to add up.

The Nets went on to hold their commanding lead throughout the fourth quarter, playing with a consistent energy and level of play, defeating the Suns 102-78.

With the win, the Nets improve to 5-11 on the season.