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Down 28, Long Island Nets come back but suffer another loss to Delaware Blue Coats, 130-127

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Long Island Nets v Delaware Blue Coats Photo by Chris Marion/NBAE via Getty Images

It was another good game for Reggie Perry, but another hard-fought loss for Long Island.

The Long Island Nets showed good poise and resilience in a comeback against the league-leading Delaware Blue Coats - the G League affiliate of the Philadelphia 76ers - but ultimately lost, 127-130. With the loss, the Nets fall to 2-4 on the 15-game regular season.

Once trailing by as many as 28 points, the Nets cut Delaware’s lead all the way to three points twice in the final minutes.

After some late-game heroics from Jeremiah Martin and a missed free throw from Julian Washburn of the Blue Coats, Long Island found themselves trailing by only three points with mere seconds on the clock. They were able to advance the ball to the other side of the court using the G League’s new developmental rule - the “reset timeout” - but were unable to convert. A play was drawn up by head coach Bret Brielmaier for BJ Johnson, who’s hot shooting brought the Nets close in the first place.

Delaware was ready, though, and an extra defender was all over Johnson right as he made his move. This left two-way center and Nets second-round pick, Perry, open from deep. He patiently dribbled once and fired away, missing and Long Island walked away with their fourth loss of the G League bubble season.

After the game, Bret Brielmaier praised his players’ effort saying the locker room remains in good spirits despite being in a slump.

“Can’t be prouder of this group. To be down 28 and fight and claw back says the world about these men, how much they care about one another, and the competitive spirit they all have,” Brielmaier said. “The locker room was in good spirits and we are ready for another one tomorrow.”

Long Island had six players finish in double-figures in the loss, which included Jordan Bowden, who contributed 14 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 19 minutes off the bench. Bowden complemented his offensive contribution with solid defense and key stops in the second half.

Bowden believes Long Island plays their best basketball when the team is moving the ball and finding the open man.

“When we are sharing the ball and playing alongside each other, we are a really tough team to play against,” Jordan Bowden said following the loss. “We just got to keep on improving and getting better.”

Brielmaier is on the same page, applauding his team for sharing the ball and being a “very unselfish group.”

“When this group shares the basketball, they create high-quality shots,” Brielmaier said on Long Island’s ball movement. “I think we had 30+ assists again tonight and give Delaware a lot of credit for their aggressive style of pick-and-roll defense. It turns teams over but in the second half, we were much better-taking care of it, making the extra play - some shots fell for us but we are a very unselfish group.”

Despite the potentially game-tying miss, Perry continued his stellar play in the G League “bubble.” Perry had 24 points on 11-of-17 shooting from the field, as well as 11 rebounds and three assists. He did turn the ball over seven times. He’s now averaging 20.8 points, 10.3 rebounds and four assists.

The leading scorer, however, was Brooklyn’s former two-way player: Jeremiah Martin. Martin had an all-around game with 25 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

BJ Johnson continued his streak of 15+ points now sixth straight, contributing 22 points.

As for Delaware, G League Player of the Week Paul Reed continued his dominance with 25 points and 10 rebounds, as well as a team-high net rating of +16. The Blue Coats drained 21 threes, including eight from deep in the first quarter of play.

Long Island will return back to action Saturday when the team plays the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, the Houston Rockets affiliate. The game is set to tip at 3:30 PM ET and will be streamed on ESPN +.

“It’s about us. We are going to compete. We are going to play hard, play together, and we don’t care who’s on the other side,” Brielmaier said about Sunday’s matchup. “It’s a style of play and a mentality we believe in no matter who the opponent is.”

Expect a lot of player movement for both Brooklyn and Long Island in next few weeks, starting Monday when teams can sign players to 10-day deals ... if the NBA team has an opening. Tuesday is the deadline for guaranteeing standard NBA contracts. The G League season ends March 5. Two-way deals must be guaranteed on March 7.