It came down to the 0.5 seconds and one free throw but the Long Island Nets get their revenge on the the Raptors 905 and in the process ended their eight-game losing streak, 117-106. The game, a rare morning affair, was played on the Raptors home court in Mississauga, Ontario,
Justin Anderson, an NBA veteran, missed his third free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining to seal Long Island’s second win of the season. With the win, the Nets snap their worst losing streak in franchise history, eight games, and head back to Uniondale in hopes of picking up their first home win Friday night. Long Island is 2-8, tied for the second worst record in the G League.
Long Island had five players finish in double-figures, getting solid games from their Brooklyn front court, 6’11” two-way, Henry Ellenson, and 6’9” assignee, Rodions Kurucs.
Ellenson, who’s been playing the stretch 5 for Long Island, led the team in scoring with 20 points to go along with eight rebounds, and three assists in 32 minutes of play. Ellenson shot 7-of-15 from the field and 2-of-7 from three in the win.
Kurucs had a good comeback game for Long Island after a disastrous game Tuesday vs. the Wisconsin Herd. After scoring only three points in 20 minutes of play in Long Island’s loss to Wisconsin (in front of Sean Marks), the Nets forward recorded a near double-double with 18 points, eight rebounds, and two assists in 27 minutes of play. Kurucs did record four turnovers in the win.
Devin Cannady, the former Princeton Tiger, had a good outing as well, recording 16 points, five rebounds, and two assists in 31 minutes of play. The Nets 6’2” sharpshooter shot 4-of-12 from the field and 4-of-11 from 3-point range.
The well-rounded offense permitted Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, who has been Long Island’s go to player, to step back a bit. He recorded 16 points, six rebounds, and four assists in the win. Luwawu-Cabarrot shot 7-of-15 from the field and 0-of-3 from three, playing in 38 minutes.
As a team, the Nets shot 42-of-84 from the field (50 percent) and 18-of-44 from three (41 percent) in the win. The team did not secure the ball well, suffering 23 turnovers in the win.
For the Raptors 905, the 6’6” Anderson lit up Long Island with 40 points, six rebounds, and two assists in 37 minutes of play. The NBA veteran shot 13-of-23 from the field and 6-of-13 from three in the loss.
Tyler Ennis, who was ejected in the last matchup between these two teams for tossing a ball near an official, recorded a double-double with 17 points, 14 assists, and five rebounds in the loss. The former Syracuse guard shot 6-of-15 from the field and 0-of-1 from three in 36 minutes of action.
As a team, the Raptors 905 shot 44-of-102 from the field (43 percent) and 11-of-34 from three (32 percent) in the loss.
Long Island Nets head coach Shaun Fein stuck with the same starting lineup, starting Massinburg, Cannady, Kurucs, Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Ellenson.
Unlike their last loss, the Nets got off to a fast start. In addition, the Nets did a good job defending the lane and the paint. In their previous matchup this season, the Nets struggled to defend those areas of the floor. The Nets maintained consistency on the offensive end throughout the first quarter while playing good defense.
At the end of one, the Nets led Raptors 905 by a score of 39-28.
The Nets started the second quarter with a 8-2 scoring run, heating up from behind the arc early. With 8:13 left Fein subbed in Kurucs, Ash Yacoubou, and Massinburg, replacing Luwawu-Cabarrot, McMurray, and Williams. Even with the wholesale change, the Nets continued their barrage from behind the arc.
In the closing minutes of the second, the Raptors 905 started to find an offensive rhythm, ending the half on a 6-3 run but Long Island maintained control on their offensive end and did not rush their final possessions.
At the half, the Nets led Raptors 905 63-51.
McMurray led Long Island in first half scoring, talling 13 points. The guard shot 4-of-6 from the field. All four makes were from behind the arc. Kurucs had a good first half outing scoring 10 points to go along with six rebounds, and one assist. Kurucs shot 4-of-5 from the field and 2-of-2 from three. He played 12 minutes.
As a team, Long Island shot 23-of-44 from the field and 14-of-28 from three. Despite playing a good half, the team recorded 12 first half turnovers.
For the Raptors 905, the team shot 20-of-49 from the field and 6-of-19 from three. The team only recorded seven first half turnovers.
Anderson continued his offensive barrage against Long Island, scoring 17 first half points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field and 4-of-8 from three. The NBA veteran also tallied four rebounds in the first half.
The Raptors held the Nets scoreless in the first two minutes of third quarter play, putting together a small 5-0 scoring run. 905 focused their offense around driving the ball and their mid-range play. On the other side, Long Island continued to shoot threes and forcing fouls on drives.
Despite the small strong start by the Raptors, the Nets remained in sync throughout the third. Long Island did a good job of being patient, as a whole, on the offensive end while locking down, switching defensive coverages on the Raptors.
At the end of the third, Long Island led 90-78.
The Nets entered the fourth quarter with a commanding 12 point lead. Well, like the last couple of games, Long Island did not hold their commanding lead. The Raptors came soaring back, behind the strong play of their NBA veteran Anderson, cutting their deficit to only two points with 6:14 left in the game.
The game went down to the final minutes and put Long Island in a situation they have been in all season: fighting to close out games.
The Nets entered the final minute of the game with a seven point lead. Anderson scored five points in 12 seconds seconds, cutting the Raptors deficit. Following Anderson, the Raptors, after a three by Evans, trailed by only one point with 1.9 seconds remaining.
Then controversy stuck… After two made free throws by Cannady that gave the Nets a three-point lead, Anderson was fouled by Ellenson while shooting a deep three. With only 0.5 seconds left, the 26-year-old veteran was given three free throws. If he made all three, the game would go to overtime . The officials reviewed the call and after two minutes of discussion, the call stood, sending Anderson to the line.
After sinking the first two free throws, Anderson’s third free throw bricked off the back iron, sealing the Nets win, snapping their eight-game losing streak.
The Nets escaped Mississauga with their second win of the season. Long Island look to pick up their third win tomorrow at Nassau Coliseum when they face Santa Cruz at 7:00 p.m. ET.
The fourth quarter was yet another thriller for Long Island.