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Nic Claxton drops 23 as Long Island Nets’ second half surge not enough, fall to Lakeland Magic, 133-126

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Lakeland Magic vs Long Island Nets Photo by Michael J. LeBrecht II/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets could not add another come-from-behind win to their season resume as the Nets fell to the Lakeland Magic, the Magic’s G League affiliate, 133-126.

With the loss, the Nets snap their three-game winning streak and fall to 19-22 on the season. Long Island currently sit tied for 10th in the Eastern Conference standings and sit 2.5 games back from a playoff berth. Long Island has a tough remaining schedule ahead with only three of their remaining nine games at home.

Aside from the Nets dipping in the standings following the loss, the team finished with seven players in double-figures.

Nic Claxton continued to impress in a Long Island uniform, recording another 20+ game. The Nets rookie finished with a team-high 23 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and one block in 28 minutes as a starter. Claxton shot 8-of-12 overall and went 2-of-2 from deep in the loss.

Justin Anderson had a good bounce back game, finishing with 22 points, six rebounds, and one assist in 31 minutes of play. Anderson shot 6-of-10 overall and 3-of-3 from deep in the loss.

In addition to Anderson and Claxton producing 20+ point games, the Nets got a big boost off the bench from CJ Massinburg. The former Buffalo guard recorded 17 points, eight assists, and two rebounds in 24 minutes of play.

Long Island finished the loss shooting 40-of-85 (47 percent) overall and went 16-of-37 (43 percent) from deep. The Nets struggled in the first half, posting only 44 first half points. Long Island surged a comeback in the second half, fueled by a 44 point third but could not end the night with the win.

Shaun Fein and the Nets started Jaylen Hands, Deng Adel, Dzanan Musa, Anderson and Claxton. Long Island were without both of their two-way players, Chris Chiozza and Jeremiah Martin, who were with the Brooklyn Nets.

The Nets had shaky starts to both the first and second quarters. After forfeiting a 9-2 run to begin the game, followed by a 12-2 Lakeland run to begin the second, not a lot went right for Long Island in the first half.

Long Island trailed 63-44 at the half.

The Nets finished the first half shooting 13-of-39 (33 percent) and 5-of-15 (33 percent) from deep. Despite the shaky first half shooting, Long Island was consistent from the charity strike going 6-of-7.

After a rough first half, the Nets flipped the page, scoring 44 points alone in the third. The Nets three-ball played a big factor in their comeback effort, going 6-of-11 in the quarter.

At the end of the third, Long Island trailed Lakeland 95-88.

After scoring 44 points in the third with a comeback win peeking through an opening window, the Nets continued their consistent play in the final 12 minutes. Although Long Island kept a similar form of consistency in the fourth, Lakeland had plenty of answers following Net buckets.

The game came down to the final minute.

The Nets, who have pulled together great comebacks in the second half of the season, could not add another on their list, as Lakeland held onto their lead and escaped the Coliseum with the win.

Long Island looks to keep their playoff hopes alive when they host the Greensboro Swarm this Sunday before hitting the road.