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Long Island Nets win third straight road game ... with some veteran help

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Maine Red Claws v Long Island Nets Photo by Michelle Farsi/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets continue to turn the page, defeating the Windy City BullsSpencer Dinwiddie’s former G league team, 107-95, behind the strong play of C.J. Williams, Long Island’s veteran guard, The Nets are now 8-3 in their last 11 games, lifting Long Island to 14-18 on the season and raising the possibility of a playoff run.

The Nets finished the win with six players in double-figures, despite a rough shooting night from deep. Long Island shot 10-of-31 (32 percent) from deep in the win. The Nets bench production was the difference maker in the win.

C.J. Williams, the Nets 29 year-old veteran, led the charge for Long Island, finishing with 20 points, three rebounds, one assist, and one block in 26 minutes of play off the bench. The veteran of 63 NBA games shot 4-of-8 from deep and 7-of-13 overall.

Jeremiah Martin, who was with the Brooklyn Nets during Wednesday’s win over the Golden State Warriors, continued to impress. The Nets two-way guard ended the win scoring 18 points, eight rebounds, three assists, and four turnovers in 30 minutes of play off the bench.

Theo Pinson, who was assigned to the Nets G League affiliate Friday morning, finished the win with a double-double of 16 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists in 32 minutes of play as a starter. Pinson shot 2-of-7 from deep and 7-of-17 overall.

Jim Boylen, the Chicago Bulls head coach, and his assistant coach, Karen Stack, were sitting courtside to watch Friday’s action. Milton Doyle, who played for Long Island and Brooklyn two years ago, led Windy City with 19 points.

Shaun Fein started Pinson, Chris Chiozza, Deng Adel, Justin Anderson, and Jonathan Kasibabu.

The Nets started the game off sluggishly, coughing up three turnovers in the opening five minutes of play. Chiozza picked up an early technical, following an exchange with an referee. The Bulls had the upper hand in the first quarter, 27-19, but the Nets quickly flipped the game in the opening minutes of the second.

Long Island took the lead at the 8:16 mark in the second and continued their resurgence, behind the play of Adel, who totaled 14 points in the first half. Along with Adel, Martin had a bounce back second quarter, ending the half with 10 points in 14 minutes off the bench.

The Nets outscored the Bulls 36-25 in the second quarter to close out the first half with a 55-52 lead.

At the half, the Nets shot a rigid 3-of-18 (17 percent) from deep but played well inside the arc, especially driving the ball and feeding cutters, going 20-of-43 (47 percent) overall. Long Island turned over the ball 10 times in the first half.

After the two teams exchanged baskets and kept the game competitive in the third, the game came down to the final 12 minutes of play. The Nets escaped the third with a 82-80 lead. Long Island gained some distance, going on a 6-0 scoring run midway through the fourth.

Following the scoring run, Long Island upped their defensive energy, forcing the Bulls into tough shots from deep and contested shots in the paint. The Nets outscored the Bulls 25-17 in the fourth, resulting in a three-game winning streak on the road and improving to 14-18 on the season.

Long Island’s next road test will take place in Sioux Falls, South Dakota when they take on the Sioux Falls Skyforce, the Heat’s G League affiliate, and Martin’s former team, on Sunday.