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Justin Anderson scores 33 but Long Island Nets fall to Erie Bayhawks in last seconds

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Long Island Nets v Erie Bayhawks Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets, who entered Thursday’s game three games out of the G League playoff picture, fell short and lost to the Erie Bayhawks, the Pelicans G League affiliate, in the last second, 125-124. With the loss, the Nets fall to 16-21 on the season and 7-12 at home.

It was as much a heart breaker as the parent club’s last two losses. ,The game came down to the final minute. With a little over five seconds remaining, Nicolas Claxton hit a three to bring the Nets within four points. The following possession, the Bayhawks stepped out of bounds off an inbound pass, leaving a small window for the Nets to force OT. At the buzzer, Justin Anderson hit a three but could not get a foul call, in hopes of tying the game and keep things going.

The Nets had five of their nine players finish in double-figures but it wasn’t enough. Shaun Fein knows his team could have played better, leading to Sunday’s game being a must-win game.

“It’s great to have five of our nine guys in double-figures,” Fein said. “But, I still think we could have been better. Like I told these guys, we got to move on to Sunday. We can not really dwell on this. We’ll watch some film on this, try to correct some things, but we have to get this one on Sunday for sure.”

Anderson continued his G League dominance with the Nets scoring 33 points, grabbing three rebounds and distribute three assists in 39 minutes of play. Since his arrival to Long Island, the veteran is averaging 22.7 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 33.1 minutes per game. He has played in 11 games for Long Island, including Thursday’s loss.

“This was definitely one that we wanted to go out and get but credit to Erie,” Anderson said following the loss. “They came out aggressive, they definitely wanted it today, they forced our hand, put a lot of pressure on us offensively at the rim. Credit to them. We have to be a little bit better defensively down the stretch, execute it, and we’ll watch some film and we’ll get better from it.”

Dzanan Musa, who is on assignment from Brooklyn, finished the loss with 26 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals in 34 minutes of play. Musa shot the ball well, going 8-of-13 overall and 3-of-4 from deep.

Jeremiah Martin had a good game as well, finishing with 20 points, four assists, and two rebounds in 35 minutes of play as a starter.

Claxton didn’t rack up big numbers in his latest game with Long Island, but he did finish with a double-double, 10 points and 10 rebounds. Claxton also hit 2-of-3 from deep and showed some neat moves on this drive to the rim.

Trajan Langdon, who is currently the general manager of the New Orleans Pelicans was in attendance, returning to the Coliseum for the first time since his departure. Langdon served as the Long Island Nets GM last season during the Nets’ G League title chase. He was also Sean Marks’ first hire as assistant GM.

As for game action…

Fein started Jeremiah Martin, Devin Cannady, Anderson, Musa, and Claxton. CJ Massinburg (lower back soreness), Deng Adel (right wrist soreness), and John Egbunu (right ankle soreness) were ruled out for tonight’s game against the Erie Bayhawks.

The first half displayed both teams playing well on the offensive end. The 24 minutes of play included six lead changes and only one tie.

Both teams shot the ball well in the first half, from both inside and outside the arc. Long Island finished the first half, shooting 26-of-49 (53 percent) overall and went 10-of-22 (45 percent) from deep while Erie shot 22-of-39 (56 percent) overall and went 6-of-14 (42 percent) from deep.

On the defensive side of the ball, Long Island played better overall in the first half. The Nets forced the Bayhawks into 10 first half turnovers, translating to 17 points. On their end, Long Island coughed up seven turnovers in the first half, but the Bayhawks only scored seven points off the turnovers.

At the half, the Nets led the Bayhawks 67-58, ending the second quarter on a strong note. Long Island ended the half on an 8-4 scoring run.

Anderson led the Nets in first half scoring with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting overall and 4-of-7 from deep in 17 minutes of play. Musa had a good half as well, scoring 17 points, shooting 7-of-8 overall and 2-of-2 from deep in a team-high 19 minutes.

The competitive and close play continued and spread throughout the third quarter. The Bayhawks earned the upper edge, closing out the third quarter with a 91-87 lead over the Nets. Long Island’s turnovers in the third cost the team 10 points off eight turnovers.

In the end, like their teammates in Brooklyn, Long Island gave it a great try at the end but it wasn’t enough.

Long Island look to bounce back when they host the Raptors 905 Sunday at Nassau Coliseum.