The Long Island Nets finished off their four-game road trip with a 131-116 win Friday over the Austin Spurs behind Theo Pinson ... and Jordan McLaughlin’s big scoring nights. Pinson, who’ll be back with Brooklyn Saturday night, finished with 33 points while McLaughlin, a 6’2” point guard, had one more.
Dzanan Musa, on the second game of his rehab tour, totaled only seven points in 17 minutes and left the game with 6:33 remaining in third quarter with an injury and did not return.. He had 20 two nights ago. Kenny Atkinson said Musa will stay with Long Island.
Musa said he’s fine....
Mitch Creek, nearing the end of his 10-day contract, had 12 points and seven assists in 29 minutes. He will return to the big team Saturday.
Long Island has now won three straight games and remain at the top of the G League’s Eastern Conference with a 21-10 record. The Nets next play 11 a.m. Monday morning at Barclays Center, their only game in Brooklyn this season.
Pinson, on a two way contract, shot 12-of-25 from the field and 7-of-14 from behind the arc in the win.
#2WayPlayer Theo Pinson (@tpinsonn) was a MAN ON A MISSION for the @LongIslandNets on Friday night, finishing with 33 PTS, 5 REB, 4 AST & SEVEN in the win @UNC_Basketball ↗️ @LongIslandNets ↔️ @BrooklynNets pic.twitter.com/bpnOLepZOG— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 2, 2019
Jordan McLaughlin and Shannon Scott are the unsung heroes of the Long Island holding down the two guard positions as call-ups and injuries had sapped the roster. Back from a hamstring injury, McLaughlin had a very impressive outing overall and was a big contributor to the Nets fourth quarter run. McLaughlin recorded five assists, and one rebound along with 34 points in the win.
Meanwhile, the Nets other two-way player Alan Williams had himself another double-double in the win. Big Sauce recorded 17 points and 19 rebounds.
Travis Trice II led the Spurs in scoring with 25 points to go along with his three assists and two rebounds.
Lonnie Walker IV, who was drafted with the 18th overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Spurs, recorded 21 points in the loss.
John Holland had a good performance scoring 20 points for the Austin Spurs.
As often happens this time of year, there’s a lot of movement in the G League. While Will Weaver started Musa, Scott, Williams, Mitch Creek, and Pinson, he was missing Okaro White and Thomas Wimbush. No word on their futures.
Both teams got off to a good start in the opening minutes of the first period. After a couple sloppy plays on both ends for both teams, the Spurs called a quick timeout with 7:10 left in the period.
With 3:05 left in the first, Kamari Murphy went up to block Jordan Green’s dunk attempt resulting in Green taking a hard fall to the ground. After the referees took a look at the play, the call stood as a common foul. Green would make one of two free throws cutting Long Island’s lead to two points.
With the first quarter in the books after a Pinson buzzer beater from three, Austin led Long Island 27-25. For the Nets, Pinson and Scott led the team in scoring with eight points a piece. Chimezie Metu led the Spurs with eight points.
Before the start of the second, the referees took another look at Pinson’s buzzer beater reversing the call, ruling it was a two-pointer.
The second quarter was a strong quarter for both teams. The Spurs and the Nets connected on their shots and on the other end played good defense. Both teams scored 33 points in the second period.
At the end of the first half, the Spurs led the Nets 60-58 behind Trice II’s 17 points. Holland had a good half for the Spurs scoring 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field. Spurs two-way Drew Eubanks recorded six points and nine rebounds.
For Long Island, Pinson had a very strong second quarter scoring the ball. Pinson recorded a half-high 19 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-9 from behind the arc.
Williams was held to only five points in the first half to go along with his 12 rebounds.
At the end of the first half, Will Weaver told Allan Cepeda, an Austin Spurs reporter, what it will take to close out this game.
“I’m sure it will be a close game,” Weaver said. “I think more than anything else, is just keeping them off the boards trying to protect the best we can and that allows us to get out and run and that’s who we are.”
Both teams entered the second half like they ended the first half; high intensity and playing good basketball on both ends of the floor.
Long Island began to pull away late in the third quarter ending the quarter with a 97-91 lead behind McLaughlin’s aggressive play. McLaughlin ended the third period with 26 points off the bench leading all scorers. The former USC star scored seven of the Nets 10 points in the final two minutes of the third.
Both Nets two-way players had strong third quarters. Williams began to heat up ending the third with 14 points and 14 rebounds. Pinson, who hit a big three in the final minute of the third to extend the Nets lead, scored 25 points to go along with his five rebounds and four assists.
For the Spurs, Trice II recorded 22 points leading the team but Lonnie Walker IV, was red hot in the third entering the fourth with 18 points and two steals.
The Nets began the fourth quarter on a strong scoring run increasing their lead to 12 points. With 7:42 left in the game, Long Island led by 14 points behind the play of McLaughlin and Williams.
With 4:00 minutes left, the Spurs called a timeout trailing 124-106. The Spurs had trouble connecting on the offensive end while McLaughlin continued to pile onto the Nets lead.
The Nets would go on to win their third straight game beating the Spurs 131-116. With the loss, Spurs suffer their fourth straight loss.