Justin Anderson’s 48-point career-high was just not enough as the Long Island Nets collapsed in the fourth quarter, losing to the Oklahoma City Blue, 137-118 in OKC. The loss marks the Nets second straight loss on the road, falling to 14-20 on the season with their playoff hopes slipping away.
The 48-point effort is currently the highest individual scoring mark this season in the G League.
The Nets, after playing a sluggish first half, turned it around late in the third quarter, entering the final 12 minutes of play down by only 10, but it was all Oklahoma City in the fourth quarter. The Nets were outscored 33-24.
Despite the second consecutive loss and stretching farther away from the playoffs, there were a few positives, highlighted, of course, by Anderson’s big night.
Anderson has appeared in 218 NBA games —including three with the Nets in January, his eyes set on returning to the big league. The 6’6” forward had himself a huge night, scoring a career-high 48 points, shooting 15-of-22 overall and an eye popping 8-of-10 from deep in the loss. The veteran played 35 minutes as a starter and tallied five rebounds, three assists, and two steals as well. In addition, he recorded only one turnover in 35 minutes
.@JusAnderson1 was a man on a mission, setting the 2019-20 #NBAGLeague season-scoring high on Tuesday night— NBA G League (@nbagleague) February 12, 2020
48 PTS | 5 REB | 3 AST | 15-22 FGM | 8-10 @UVAMensHoops ↗️ @LongIslandNets pic.twitter.com/HGtvu0Cn7Y
Dzanan Musa, who was assigned to Long Island Monday morning, also played well, scoring 21 points in 34 minutes of play as a starter. Musa went scoreless from three, going 0-of-3, but went 7-of-14 overall. Despite the up and down shooting, Musa shot 4-of-6 from the charity strike.
Theo Pinson, also on assignment, had a bad outing. The reigning G League Player of the Week shot 3-of-18 overall, including 1-of-6 from deep. He did record eight assists. Jeremiah Martin and Jaylen Hands both finished with 10.
As a team, the Nets finished the loss shooting 40-of-92 (43 percent) overall and 13-of-33 (39 percent) from deep. Long Island went a consistent 15-of-20 (75 percent) from the charity strike and turned over the ball 13 times in the loss.
Shaun Fein started two-way Jeremiah Martin, the Brooklyn duo of Theo Pinson and Musa, Anderson, and Jonathan Kasibabu. Devin Cannady and John Egbunu did not play for Long Island while Chris Chiozza was with the parent club.
The Blue had the upper hand throughout the first half of play. Long Island looked out of sync on the defensive end and struggled play off switches and the paint. Oklahoma City played with more energy throughout the first half against Long Island.
The Nets were able to cut their decit to single digits in the second, going on a 10-0 scoring run from the 6:41 mark till the 4:52 mark. Despite gaining momentum off the strong scoring run, the Nets were unable to covet a long awaited lead and finished the first half trailing by six points. The difference maker in the first half was Oklahoma City’s effort on extra passes.
At the end of the first half, Long Island trailed Oklahoma City 71-65.
The Nets came out of the locker room, playing with more energy on both ends of the floor, especially on the defensive end. Despite playing with more energy, the Blue held their ground as well. At the 3:30 mark, the Nets tied up the game following an Anderson three off a flashy dish by Pinson. Although tying up the game and building some momentum, the Blue put together a run, closing out the third quarter on an 11-2 scoring run, entering the fourth with a 10 point lead.
The fourth quarter was all Oklahoma City. The Blue stayed red hot on the offensive end and quickly took full control of the tempo. The Nets struggled to hit their shots, especially from deep, while having trouble defending the lanes to the basket. The Blue outscored the Nets 33-24 to close out the game, handing Long Island their second consecutive loss.
Vincent Edwards, OKC’s 6’8” forward, finished with 35 points, far above his 11 point per game average.
Long Island look to finish off their six game road trip with a win when they travel to Lakeland, Florida to take on the Lakeland Magic a week from Friday February 21 before returning to the Coliseum Monday, February 24 to host the Greensboro Swarm.