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Chris Chiozza debuts as Long Island Nets extend losing streak to four, 114-98

LA Clippers v Washington Wizards Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets extended their losing streak to four games Wednesday, falling to the Grand Rapids Drive, the Pistons affiliate, 114-98. With the loss, the Nets fall to 6-15 on the season, second worst record in the G League.

Long Island had a total of six players finish in double-figures but only nine active players on the active roster. Deng Adel and C.J. Massinburg are both dealing with lower leg injuries while Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot continues to put in big minutes for the Brooklyn Nets.

Chris Chiozza, the Nets new two-way guard, made his Nets G League debut in Wednesday’s loss. Chiozza, a crafty passer, got the start in his first game, playing a total of 37 minutes and recording nine points, eight assists, and four rebounds. The 5’11 guard shot 3-of-13 overall and 1-of-8 from deep in the loss. Jaylen Hands, who Chiozza replaced in the starting line-up,

Devin Cannady had a good game for Long Island in Wednesday’s loss. Cannady put his elite shooting on display, going 5-of-9 from deep and 5-of-11 overall in 36 minutes of play. He tallied 15 points, three rebounds, and one assists in the loss.

C.J. Williams, the Nets veteran, had a solid game, scoring a team-high 16 points,handing out four assists, and grabbing three rebounds in the loss. Williams shot 5-of-13 from the field and 3-of-10 from deep in 35 minutes of play.

As a team, the Nets shot 32-of-77 from the field (42 percent) and 17-of-46 from deep (37 percent) in Wednesday’s loss. Long Island shot well from the charity strike, going 8-of-10 but turnovers were once again a problem, totaling 18 in the loss. Long Island was outscored 48-28 in the paint.

Shaun Fein a started Chiozza, Cannady, Williams, Ash Yacoubou, and Jonathan Kasibabu.

The Drive opened a 11-0 scoring run in the opening two minutes. With 9:59 left, Fein called a quick timeout to regroup. The Nets responded, putting together a 15-8 run. As the first quarter progressed, the Nets continued to play better ball and playing as a team. The team moved the ball well and did a good job moving the ball inside. The Nets took their first lead with 1:13 left in the first, ending the first tied up.

At the end of one, the score was tied up at 33. Both teams shot over 50 percent in the first.

The Nets shot the ball well in the first, going 11-of-21 from the field (52 percent) and 5-of-11 from deep (45 percent). The team recorded only two turnovers in the first 12 minutes of play.

The Drive upped their defensive rotations and raised the tempo which was the difference maker in the second. The Nets did not play like they did in the first. Long Island struggled to take care of the ball on the offensive end, coughing up 10 turnovers alone in the second quarter. The Drive capitalized off those 10 turnovers throughout the quarter, closing the half with a 10 point lead.

At the end of the first half, the Nets trailed 66-55.

Despite the tough second quarter, Long Island shot the ball well, going 19-of-38 overall (50 percent) and 10-of-21 from deep (48 percent).

Cannady led the Nets in first half scoring with 12 points, going 4-of-5 from deep. Chiozza played well in the first half, particularly distributing the ball, recording seven points, five assists, and one rebound in 17 minutes of play. Williams, who led the Nets in first half minutes with 18, scored eight points on 3-of-5 shooting overall and 2-of-4 from deep.

The Nets had a perfect start to the second half, pulling together a quick 7-0 run in the opening 90 seconds, leading to Grand Rapids to call a timeout. Following the timeout, the Drive regained their footing and began to play well. Grand Rapids continued to keep Long Island at a distance in the third, leading to small frustration late. The Drive led by 15, which was their biggest lead of the game and closed the quarter with a 13 point lead.

At the end of the third, Long Island trailed 78-91.

The Nets entered the final 12 minutes of play shooting 27-of-60 from the field (45 percent) and 14-of-36 from deep (39 percent). The team recorded six turnovers in the third.

After trailing by 13 entering the fourth, the Nets trailed by only three points with 5:52 remaining in the game. Following a 5-0 scoring run with 5:14 left, Fein and the Nets called their first timeout of the fourth, trailing 100-92. Grand Rapids Drive closed out the game from there, capitalizing off the Nets late game turnovers and hitting their three’s.

Hands finished with 10 points and four assists in 21 minutes. John Egbunu, the Nets big man, has 12 points and four boards, but five fouls in 19 minutes.

The Nets look to snap their four game losing skid Saturday, January 11 when they travel to Greensboro, North Carolina to take on the Greensboro Swarm.