Led by Jordan McLaughlin, the Long Island Nets blew past the Atlanta Hawks affiliate, the Erie Bayhawks, 125-109, at Nassau Coliseum Wednesday to take their 10th straight game and remain undefeated since All-Star Break. The Nets 10-game win streak is now the longest win streak recorded in the NBA G League this season. Long Island has the G League’s second best record, 31-15 with four games left.
With the win, the Nets are now one win away from clinching the league’s Atlantic Division. The G League Playoffs begin on March 26.
With Theo Pinson, the Nets two-way guard, traveling with the Brooklyn Nets Jordan McLaughlin, the 6’1” rookie out of USC, had perhaps his best outing as a pro. McLaughlin led the way in scoring for Nets with 27 points to go along with his five rebounds and seven assists.
McLaughlin was seen as the best collegiate point guard west of the Mississippi last season but went undrafted. He got an invitation to both the Nets summer league and training camp, then was assigned to Long Island, where he has excelled. He’s averaging 15 points and five assists, mostly off the bench. He’s shot 43 percent overall and 34 percent from three.
Mitch Creek had another great outing, coming just shy of a double-double, for Long Island recording 22 points, nine rebounds, and five assists.
Tahjere McCall recorded a double-double recording 19 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Josh Newkirk, who got some extra minutes in the win, recorded 14 points, two rebounds, and one assist. Dzanan Musa had a quiet night scoring nine points, three rebounds, and three assists in 31 minutes of play.
Alan Williams, the Nets two-way center, had his 28th double-double of the season, scoring 18 points and 18 rebounds. Big Sauce recorded a new career-high in assists with seven assists in the win.
For the Bayhawks, the loss dashed their playoff hopes. Cat Barber was the game-high scorer recording 35 points to go along with his seven rebounds, and five assists. Jaylen Morris had a good outing scoring 28 points, five rebounds, and six assists in the loss.
Isaac Humphries had a solid game recording 16 points, nine rebounds, and one assist.
The tenth straight win came with a bit of an asterisk. Before the regularly scheduled game, the Nets lost the rescheduled game between the two teams. The January 19 game was suspended due to a leaking roof with the Nets up 88-87 with 9:40 left in the fourth. The Bayhawks won that one 108-105 and controlled the game on both ends of the floor in those nine minutes. The suspended game didn’t count as a loss during this stretch and is recorded as a January loss.
With Pinson dancing with Brooklyn in Oklahoma City, Will Weaver started Creek, McCall, Williams, McLaughlin, and Josh Newkirk, the Nets newest addition, another 6’1” guard.
Long Island took no time to get on the scoring board. The Nets attacked the paint early connecting on a beauty of cut passes leading to points. Long Island’s offense was up tempo and in sync in the opening minutes of the game.
With 8:40 left in the first, Erie called a timeout trailing Long Island 13-6. The Bayhawks went on a quick 4-0 run following the timeout.
Seton Hall’s Ismael Sanogo received early minutes, checking in with 7:23 left in the first, replacing Creek. Sanogo took no time to make an instant impact on both ends of the floor. He did a good job driving the ball and spacing the floor on the offensive end. On the defensive end, the 6’8” power forward made a highlight reel double-handed block in the paint sparking the Coliseum crowd.
McLaughlin led the way for the Nets in scoring recording 10 points to go along with four rebounds and one assist. McCall had a good all-around quarter scoring seven points, seven rebounds, and three assists. The recent Brooklyn call up played elite defense in the first.
Newkirk had a good first scoring six points followed by Sanogo with four points and two rebounds.
For Erie, Barber had a strong first recording nine points, two rebounds, and three assists. Morris had a good first as well recording five points and one assist.
After one, Long Island led Erie 34-27.
Sitting out the first, Musa started the second quarter for the Nets. Both teams played good defense but the Nets had a strong start on the offensive end. With 10:09 left in the second, the Bayhawks called a quick timeout trailing by seven.
A weird situation then unfolded with 8:18 left in the second. Creek drove to the basket and was fouled hard on the drive leading the officials to head to the monitor to review the play. After the review, Creek received a technical foul after the refs determined he had slapped his defender in the face but the call stood as a common foul. Creek would make one out of two free throws while the Bayhawks connected on the technical free throw.
After some hard drives and connected three’s, the Bayhawks took their first lead of the game with 1:16 left in the half.
McLaughlin continued his strong half scoring 12 first half points to go along with his four rebounds and three assists. Newkirk was impressive as well recording 11 points, two rebounds, and one assist.
Creek recorded nine points, two rebounds, and two assists while Musa scored six points.
For the Bayhawks, Barber couldn’t be contained. He had a great first half scoring 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Morris continued his strong play recording 12 points, two rebounds, and two assists.
The Nets shot 21-of-47 in the first half from the field (45%) and 4-of-16 from behind the arc (25%). Long Island did a good job connecting on their free throws going 15-of-18 (83%).
The Bayhawks shot similar numbers going 23-of-52 (44%) and 2-of-9 (22%) from behind the arc. Erie went 9-of-12 from the free throw line (75%).
At the half, Long Island led Erie 61-57.
Just 11 seconds into the third quarter, Long Island head coach Will Weaver received a double-technical and was ejected for arguing a call with the refsl Both the Nets and the Bayhawks received delay of game violation as part of Weaver’s ejection.
After a back-and-forth game between the two teams, the Bayhawks went on a 6-0 scoring run forcing Long Island to call timeout.
The Nets recovered and had a good third quarter on both ends of the floor. Creek had a strong third quarter totaling 18 points, five rebounds, and four assists heading into the final 12 minutes.
McLaughlin continued his strong all-around play scoring 18 points, five rebounds, and five assists followed by McCall, who recorded 17 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Big Sauce turned it on recording his 28th double-double with a full 12 minutes to go, scoring 11 points, 15 rebounds, and six assists
At the end of the third, Long Island led 95-84.
Long Island maintained good game control throughout the fourth quarter, forcing the Bayhawks to taking a lot of low percentage shots while Long Island played great team ball having some fun in the final minutes.
The Nets look to make it 11 straight when they face the Maine Red Claws in the first game of a back-to-back on Friday, March 15.