It came down to the final second but Long Island survived and continued their strong second half play, beating the Hornets’ affiliate, the Swarm, in Greensboro. Final score: Long Island 115 - 114.
The win put the Nets in first place in the G League Eastern Conference with only 10 left.
The game was won in the final minute. The Nets led by only three points with eight seconds left. Okaro White, Long Island’s stretch-4, hit both free throws to put the Nets up by five. Chinanu Onuaku hit a putback with 4.1 seconds. After a quick Swarm foul, Dzanan Musa hit one of two free throws to give the Nets a 115-111 lead. Greensboro’s Dwayne Bacon, on assignment from the Hornets, hit a desperation three with 1.4 seconds left cutting the Nets lead to one but Long Island survived.
With the win, the Nets extend their winning streak to five games ... undefeated since All-Star break. The Nets also completed a season series sweep over the Swarm.
Long Island had five players in double-digits making it the third straight game at least five Nets scored more than 10 points. They went a jaw-dropping 27-of-28 from the free throw line in the win. Their only miss came on Musa’s first shot with 3.9 seconds left in the game.
Mitch Creek led the way for Long Island, recording 23 points and four rebounds. Nets two-way guard Theo Pinson had a good outing as well as scoring 21 points to go along with his five rebounds and three assists. Alan Williams, the Nets other two-way player, had a quiet game scoring nine points and 13 rebounds.
Here’s Pinson’s highlights...
White, who’s coming back from injury, had a solid outing for Long Island scoring 18 points, six rebounds, and two assists. Tahjere McCall, who is coming off his NBA debut with the Brooklyn Nets, recorded five points in 16 minutes and Musa six points in 30 minutes, missing six of his seven three point attempts.
Will Weaver tweeted at NetsDaily that Musa contributed on defense...
Can’t wait to read the write up of @DzMusa locking people down!— Will Weaver (@coachwcw) March 3, 2019
For Greensboro, Bacon was the game-high scorer recording 27 points, six rebounds, and one assist. Joe Chealey had a strong game for the Swarm scoring 22 points followed by Devonte’ Graham with 21 points and seven rebounds.
Will Weaver went with Pinson, Williams, White, Musa and Shannon Scott,to start for the Nets. Will Davis, Ismael Sonogo, and Thomas Wimbush did not play.
John Dawson, J.P Macura, Tyler Nelson, and Malik Pope did not play for the Swarm.
The Swarm started the game on a 7-0 run and controlled the first quarter. Long Island managed to cut their first quarter deficit to single digits.
Kamari Murphy had a strong first quarter scoring six points followed by Creek with five points. For Greensboro, Graham was the high scorer with 11 points followed by Bacon with six points.
After one, the Nets trailed the Storm 30-to-22.
Long Island started the second quarter on a 5-to-0 run cutting their deficit to only three points. Despite climbing back, the Storm played strong defense holding at least a two possession lead.
Midway through the second quarter, Creek started to heat up. With 4:26 left in the first half, Pinson gave the Nets their first lead of the game nailing a three-pointer off a crafty pass from McLaughlin.
The Nets continued their strong play for the rest of the quarter and ended the first half with a five point lead.
Creek was the Nets leading scorer at the half with 16 points followed by Murphy with 10 points. Pinson had a quiet first half recording nine points. Big Sauce had a quiet half as well recording seven points but snagged seven rebounds.
For Greensboro, Graham was the high man with 13 points followed by Bacon scored 12 points
At half, the Nets led the Swarm 59-54.
Both teams started the second half playing aggressive on the offensive end. With 5:53 left in the third, Onuaku picked up a technical foul. Pinson connected on the technical free throw and scored a contested layup on the same possession giving the Nets a six point lead.
The Nets did a good job on the defensive end in the final minutes of the third. Long Island ended the third with an eight point lead.
Creek was the high scoring man heading into the fourth with 20 points. Pinson had a good third quarter scoring 12 points. The Nets two-way guard recorded 17 points heading into the fourth. Williams scored two points in the third quarter but had a total of nine points and 11 rebounds.
For Greensboro, Bacon was the leading scorer after three quarters with 22 points. Graham and Gillion had good third quarters totaling 17 points.
The Nets led the Swarm 94-86 heading into the fourth.
With the win, the Nets extend their winning streak to five games. Long Island looks to make it six straight wins when they face the Canton Charge on March 4.