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Long Island Nets drop third straight game, losing to Erie Bayhawks, 114-104

Erie Bayhawks v Long Island Nets Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

Long Island suffered another hard-fought loss Monday, losing their third-straight game to the Erie Bayhawks, the Hawks affiliate, 114-104. With the loss, the Nets fall to 1-3 on the 15-game season while the Bayhawks rise to 3-1.

From a development perspective, Reggie Perry, Jeremiah Martin and B.J. Johnson played well

Despite the loss, Bret Brielmiaer was pleased with his team’s performance. The Nets head coach pinpointed the team’s ball movement and making the right plays against a great team in the Bayhawks.

“I’m really impressed with how we competed and our willingness to share the basketball in the first half,” Brielmaier said. “We lost our way a little bit in the second and you really felt it in that third quarter but we have a lot to be proud of in that game. That’s a really good team and we showed some flashes of how good we can really be when we share the ball, make the right plays, and defend.”

The Nets took an early lead but the Bayhawks responded fast on both ends. Erie capitalized off their ball movement and finding the open man, taking a 27-22 lead entering the second.

The Bayhawks tried keeping their lead past the first quarter but they didn’t have enough to hold back those Nets. They racked up the turnovers (9) as Long Island began getting hot from deep. By the time it reached halftime, the Nets were 10-of-23 (44 percent) from distance to give Long Island a 56-50 lead at the half.

After ending the first half on a strong note, the Bayhawks took over the third as the Nets struggled to make shots. The Bayhawks outscored the Nets 32-18 in the quarter to take an 82-74 edge heading into the final 12 minutes of play.

Brielmaier noted the Nets’ inability to hit shots in the third hurt but the process of getting people open hurt more.

“For us, it is never about shots going in more than not,” Brielmaier said. “It’s about the process. It’s about our habits. The way we share the ball, the way we cut, the way we move, the way we screen, and shots will fall. It’s been a change on the night and if our process is right. If we are moving the ball and everyone’s touching it, moving side to side, we will be able to create high-quality shots.”

The Bayhawks continued to roll, extending their lead to double-digits in the early minutes of the fourth. With Long Island trailing by 12, the team could not come back from the deficit and pull off a comeback.

Martin paved the way for Long Island finishing with 23 points to go along with four assists and three rebounds in 23 minutes of play. Reggie Perry followed with an all-around game of 20 points, nine rebounds, and four assists in 31 minutes. Johnson, who has emerged as one of their key players on both ends, had a strong performance of 18 points and three rebounds in 30 minutes of play.

Perry is now averaging 19 points, 10 rebounds and four assists, with a shooting line of 49/42/60, in 29 minutes a game.

“At the end of the day, we know what our mistakes are. We know where our mistakes have been the last three games and we got to fix it,” Johnson said following the loss. “We did fight till the end but we got to put together 48 minutes and can’t have those mental lapses for those short stretches.”

As a team, Long Island shot 38 percent from the field and 38 percent from deep while recording 14 turnovers.

For Erie, Jordan Bell had a strong game of 17 points in 30 minutes followed by Cassius Winston with 16 points in 26 minutes. The Bayhawks had six players in double-figures.

The Nets are back in action Wednesday against the Westchester Knicks, the Knicks affiliate, at 11:00 AM ET. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.