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Long Island Nets lose to Austin Spurs, 102-88, all but eliminating them from playoffs

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Long Island Nets v Austin Spurs Photo by Juan Ocampo/NBAE via Getty Images

Coming off of an impressive overtime victory against the Oklahoma City Blue yesterday, the Long Island Nets were once again tasked with playing for their playoff lives Tuesday afternoon. This time, the Nets faced off against the Austin Spurs one day after the San Antonio Spurs lost to the Brooklyn Nets.

After a strong first quarter where they went down by as many as 12 points, the Spurs rallied to take a double digit lead of their own. But after a tight second quarter of play, the Long Island deficit was down to two. That’s as close as it would get, unfortunately. The Spurs went on a 3-point barrage, and their lead quickly ballooned past double digits into 20 point territory.

The Nets would make a comeback effort, but it was too little too late, and Austin cruised to their ninth victory of the G League season, 102-88.

This loss all but mathematically eliminated the Nets from postseason contention. A win by either the Lakeland Magic or Team Ignite Wednesday or a loss by Long Island Thursday would make it official. I asked coach Bret Brielmaier about their mindset going forward.

“We’ll continue to improve each and every day, both in the practice environment [and] watching film, these guys as players never stopped. There’s no end to their growth. So we’ll continue to coach these guys up, we’ll continue to compete til the end, and with our last games we’ll continue to keep pounding the rock.”

Veteran point guard Shannon Scott commented on the sense in the locker room:

“Trying [to focus on] the positive. We know that it’s a tough situation, you don’t want to be at the bottom of the standings, which I don’t think we are, we’re kind of in that middle pack, but each and every game is going to count for us. We’ve got to go out and play every game hard like it’s our last game, whenever the results are, we just have to live with it.

Jeremiah Martin continued his stellar play, dropping 21 points as well as 4 assists. Most impressive of all, though, is his 3-of-4 shooting from deep. He was only nailing 13% of his attempts from behind the arc entering the game. CJ Massinburg added 14 points and 9 rebounds, fitting for a player who coach Brielmaier often describes as “scrappy.”

Reggie Perry, still on a two-way contract, only scored 11 points on 5-of-14 shooting, missing all three of his deep shots, but his ability to put the ball on the floor and create shined through. He added nine rebounds and six assists.

The Nets were missing several key contributors against the Spurs, namely starters BJ Johnson and Kaiser Gates, as well as quality backup big man Tariq Owens. Brielmaier spoke on their impact postgame:

“Three phenomenal players for us. We definitely missed their leadership today, as well as their talent, they’re day-to-day. They’re all itching to play and we’ll re-evaluate tomorrow.

It was reported today that the NBA was making changes to the two-way contracts, Two-Way contracts were once limited to 50 games, but now players on two-ways can play out the entire season and once the players reach 50 games, they’ll be paid at the standard NBA minimum rates instead of the G League level, which is half the NBA.

Coming off of an impressive overtime victory against the Oklahoma City Blue yesterday, the Long Island Nets were once again tasked with playing for their playoff lives this afternoon This time, the Nets faced off against the Austin Spurs, the G League affiliate of the San Antonio Spurs, who the Brooklyn Nets coincidently played last night.

After a strong first quarter where they led by as many as 12 points, the Spurs rallied back to take a double digit lead of their own. But after a tight second quarter of play, the Long Island deficit was down to 2. That’s as close as it would get, unfortunately. The Spurs went on a three-point barrage, and their lead quickly ballooned past double digits to 20 point territory.

The Nets would make a comeback effort, but it was too little too late, and Austin cruised to their ninth victory of the G League season.

Also today, the NBA and the players union have reportedly agreed to changes in the Two-Way contract, which applies to both Perry and Chris Chiozza. Two-Way contracts were once limited to 50 games, but now players on two-ways can play out the entire season.

I asked Bret Brielmaier about the new rule and Perry’s future with the Brooklyn Nets:

“Reggie’s development will continue here with us and we’ll continue to let him get experience and work on his skills both on and off the court. It’s great that the NBA has these two-way [contracts] available, and he’s got a bright future ahead of him.

The Long Island Nets will return to action Thursday, their next to last game, against the Memphis Hustle, the Grizzlies affiliate, at 11:30 AM ET. The game will be streamed on ESPN+.