Nicolas Claxton continued to dominate in the G League Wednesday, scoring a career-high 34 points to go along with nine rebounds, and four assists in 27 minutes of play vs. the Delaware Blue Coats.
It was one highlight after another for the near 7-footer...
With the huge win, Long Island continues to claw its way back into the G League playoff race, but at this point, they are still on the outside looking in ... with only a slight chance at the post-season. They improved to 19-21 on the season, with 10 games to go.
After scoring 14 first half points, the Nets rookie really started clicking. He attacked the fatigued Blue Coats big men and worked his way to the basket. He scored 20 second half points.
“I tested the waters in the first half,” Claxton said. “The bigs got real tired from guarding the guards and I started to attack the bigs and get to the free throw line and stay aggressive.”
Claxton, who did not play in Tuesday’s win in Erie, wanted to contribute any way he could for the Nets G League affiliate. He hinted the Nets had revenge on their mind for this one.
“The last two games we played against Delaware, they blew us out,” Claxton said following the win. “We are coming from a back-to-back from Erie last night so I wanted to come out here and contribute anyway that I could.”
Included in another impressive outing was Nets’ second rounder’s three-point shooting. Claxton finished the win going 3-of-5 from deep. He says working on his three-point shot is one of the biggest things for him.
“That is going to be huge,” Claxton said about three-point shooting. “That is one of the biggest things for me. I got consistency in my jumpshot so I got to stay in the gym and keep working.”
For the season now, he’s shooting 53.3 percent from deep. Overall, he’s shooting 66.7 percent.
When asked if he knows whether or not he will be with Long Island for Friday and Sunday’s home games, Claxton couldn’t say.
“Yeah, it’s unsure right now,” Claxton said. “Take everything day by day.”
Shaun Fein credited the Nets rookie for accepting the challenge down low against the Blue Coats big men. Fein stated he does not know how much longer Claxton will be down in Long Island but when he is, he will take advantage of his dominant play.
“No, not at all,” Fein said when asked about Brooklyn’s plans. “Nic is a really good player. He takes the challenge every time he steps on the floor. He ended with 34 and nine, got to the free throw some times, and hit three 3s. He was really efficient in 28 minutes.
“He is a heck of a player and we are happy to have him here. I do not know how much longer we will have him but we will take advantage when we do.”
Here’s a Long Island Nets feature that dropped Thursday afternoon...
“The biggest thing is just going out there and competing”— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) March 5, 2020
Nic Claxton has made a splash anytime he takes the court on assignment with the Long Island Nets. Hear about how he’s using his time in the G League to improve his game pic.twitter.com/hSfYMnami2
Dzanan Musa, who was also on assignment, had a good game, recording a double-double of 20 points, 10 rebounds to go along with four assists in 32 minutes of play ... including this neat layup off a Devin Cannady bounce pass.
Jeremiah Martin, the Nets two-way, finished with 12 points and four rebounds.
As a team, Long Island finished the win shooting 41-of-99 (41 percent) overall and went 8-of-26 (30 percent) from deep. The Nets shot 21-of-24 from the charity strike as well and recorded only 11 turnovers in the win.
Fein started Martin, Cannady, Musa, Claxton and Justin Anderson.
After a first quarter that included seven ties and three lead changes, the Blue Coats got the edge in the first six minutes of the second, growing a lead of 11 with 4:20 left in the first half.
Despite their shaky start, Long Island slowly gained traction as the quarter progressed, cutting into their deficit. The Nets were outscored 31-27 in the second quarter but outrebounded the Blue Coats 31-22.
At the half, Long Island trailed Delaware 64-57.
Claxton led the Nets in scoring after the first 24 minutes of play. The rookie scored 14 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists in 14 minutes off the bench.
As a team, Long Island finished the half shooting 20-of-50 (40 percent) overall and 3-of-16 (19 percent) from deep. The Nets went 8-of-10 from the charity strike but coughed up only seven first half turnovers.
The Nets began the second half playing well on both ends of the floor. Long Island pulled together a 9-0 run to begin the third quarter, taking their first lead since the first quarter. Following their strong start, the pace slowed down on both ends till the final two minutes of the third.
The Nets pulled together another scoring run, this one fueled by the Nets two second round picks, Claxton and Jaylen Hands.
At the end of the third, Long Island led Delaware 94-84.
Claxton led the Nets third quarter charge, scoring 16 of the teams 37 points during the period. He entered the fourth quarter with 30 points, six rebounds, and four assists in 20 minutes.
Long Island did not let their foot off the gas pedal in the fourth quarter. The Nets played hard till the final buzzer and with the win, behind the strong late push of Claxton, Musa, and John Egbunu.
Long Island look for their fourth straight win when they host the Lakeland Magic, the Magic’s G League affiliate, Friday at Nassau Coliseum.