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Long Island Nets suffer second straight tough loss in ‘bubble,’ losing to Greensboro, 123-95

Greensboro Swarm v Long Island Nets Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

The Long Island Nets suffered their second straight loss, losing to the Greensboro Swarm, the Hornets affiliate, 123-95. With the loss, the Nets fall to 1-2 on their 15-game regular season.

The big saving grace for Long Island was another strong performance for Reggie Perry who finished with 21 points and 13 boards.

It was certainly another tough loss and following the loss, Bret Brielmaier noted how his team doesn’t plan on making any excuses. Long Island’s head coach says the teams’ defense has to be their “rock” and hopes they can cure all other problems. He’s looking for a gritty performance.

“Tough game for us but we didn’t help ourselves either,” Brielmaier said. “We walked out of that locker room thinking either we can make excuses, whether we miss shots or a laundry list of things but at the end of the day, if you are not having a good shooting night or struggling in other areas, our defense has to be our rock. Our staple and what will carry us when we are having tough times.

“This team won’t make excuses. We will come back at it tomorrow and hopefully give a more gritty performance.”

The Nets trailed big-time in the beginning stages, beginning with a 7-0 deficit right out the gates but responded. Long Island quickly got back in the game after a slow start but Greensboro began to pull away midway through the quarter, heading into the second with a 30-23 lead.

The Swarm opened the second on a strong note, increasing their lead to 15 points. As the Swarm were rolling, the Nets continued to battle from behind, using a 9-2 run in the final two minutes. Perry led the charge, scoring seven points to head into the locker room trailing by four points. The Nets second round pick had 15 and 10 by the half.

Long Island opened the third setting the tone with a high pace. Despite playing at a high pace, Long Island struggled to complement their strategy with stops defensively. The Swarm responded and ended the quarter with an 85-77 edge, outscoring the Nets 28-24 for the quarter.

“We want to play with pace every single night,” Briemaier said. “It is something that is a staple for us and it is hard to play with pace when you are not getting stops. So, taking the ball out of the net definitely slows you down. They threw their zone at us and their little fullcourt press so they had some schemes that slowed our pace down a little bit. We got to demand more and play faster. A big part of it comes down to our defense. If we can’t get stops, we can’t play with pace.”

The Swarm continued to pile it on to open the fourth with a dominant 14-2 scoring run which lasted over four minutes of play. The Nets struggled against the Swarm’s zone defense and could not overcome the deficit playing behind in the final 12 minutes of play.

As a team, Long Island shot poorly overall, hitting 38 percent from the field and 20 percent from downtown. If you thought that was bad, the turnovers might make you rethink that. The Nets turned over the ball 20 times!

Despite a rough night, there were bright spots.

Perry had his second double-double in three games. To Perry, he wants to win. Stats are not a concern.

“Nothing really. Two straight L’s too,” Perry said following the loss. “My priority is to win and not worry about stats. Just prove that I can win and come out and compete. I’m just trying to find a way to get in my groove and focusing on playing hard the entire time and winning helps me out a lot.”

BJ Johnson followed, scoring 15 points six rebounds, and two assists in 25 minutes of play.

As for Greensboro, Vernon Carey Jr., a Duke product who was taken at No. 32 in the 2020 Draft,, was having his way with 24 points and 6 rebounds. Kobi Simmons had himself a game too, going for 22 points, seven assists, and six rebounds.

There’s no reason to dwell on this game, Long Island is back in action tomorrow against the Erie BayHawks, the Pelicans affiliate, at 7:30 p.m. ET. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.