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Santa Cruz Warriors defeat Long Island Nets, 81-77, in G League Showcase nail-biter

2021 G League Winter Showcase - Long Island Nets v Santa Cruz Warriors Photo by David Becker/NBAE via Getty Images

In their first game as part of the NBA G League Showcase, the Long Island Nets met up with the Santa Cruz Warriors, the G League affiliate team of the Golden State Warriors at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. Long Island lost their second straight game, 81-77, to Santa Cruz in a tight contest.

With only one game left until the regular season begins, the Nets record sits at 4-9.

The Nets looked to establish a lead in the early going, and guard Marcus Zegarowski got out to a hot start early with seven quick points. The Nets led 22-16 after the first period of play in a game seeming destined early-on to be a low-scoring finish.

The Warriors turned the tide in the next quarter. After some stout defense, holding Long Island to the same 16 points they scored in the first quarter, Santa Cruz held a 8-point halftime advantage.

In the second half, Santa Cruz led the entire way up until the final 75 seconds when the Nets took the lead by one point, putting the score at 77-76. The Warriors had a successful challenge that overturned an offensive foul with 21.8 seconds remaining. Warrior guard — and former Brooklyn Net summer league player — Quinndary Weatherspoon then went to the free throw line where he converted one of two free throws to give the Warriors a two-point lead, 79-77.

Brandon Rachal then badly missed a goal-to-go layup. A no-call on Santa Cruz gave the Warriors the victory, 81-77.

No Nets two-way or assignment players were on hand in Vegas Monday. Long Island’s Kessler Edwards, David Duke Jr. and Day’Ron Sharpe have all been pressed into service as reinforcements during Brooklyn’s COVID outbreak.

Rachal led the way for Long Island with 14 points on 7-of-15 shooting, as well as 6 rebounds. Josh Gray added in 13 points with 8 rebounds and 6 assists. In total, the Nets had six players in double-figures.

Golden State Two-Way Guard Jeff Dowtin Jr. scored a game-high 28 points on 11-of-28 shooting from the field.

Here are the game highlights:

Next up for Long Island will be the Agua Caliente Clippers, the affiliate squad of the Los Angeles Clippers, on Wednesday, December 22. The Nets will be back at Mandalay Bay Convention Center for a 6 pm tilt, live on NBAGLeague.com.