A 40-point game by Craig Randall II can no longer be considered a surprise.
The 6’5” swingman followed up his 40-game in a win over College Park Wednesday with a 44-point gem Friday in a 119-114 loss to Greensboro. Randall, 25, finished 17-of-28 overall and 8-of-20 from deep. Over the two-game stretch, Randall has shot 32-of-54 and 14-of-34. He became the first Long Island Nets player in team history to notch consecutive 40+ point games.
Randall also grabbed six boards and handed out two assists Friday. Here’s the highlights...
The UT-Martin product has become a G League feel-good story, going from a Nets open tryout in Brooklyn to star, as our Alec Sturm wrote in a profile of Martin last month.
Long Island is now 1-1 in the G League regular season which started last week after the league completed its Winter Showcase.
The Long Island offense wasn’t limited to Randall who won in his roster spot following an open workout. RaiQuan Gray, who was the Nets 59th pick in 2021 Draft, finished with 18 points, 11 boards, nine assists and three blocks. The 6’8” Gray shot 6-of-10, none from deep. Rounding out the box score, Justin Jackson had 18 points, shooting 4-of-7 from three and Josh Gray 12 points and eight assists.
Long Island, Greensboro and the rest of the G League has been hurt by the massive call-ups due to the rise of COVID infections at NBA level as well as G League health and safety protocols. Only four of the Nets who played Friday night were with the team on Opening Night back in November.
Long Island and Greensboro got off to a quick start. The Nets closed the first quarter going up by four, 31-27. The Swarm responded with two dunks in the opening minutes of the second quarter to establish they weren’t going away. Long Island fought hard to shrink the gap but couldn’t get there and Greensboro went into the half up by one, 61-60.
The Nets came out aggressively in the second half. They continued to shoot point-for-point with the Swarm and got within a a point three times in the last minute of the third quarter. The Swarm slipped past the Nets in the final seconds to go into the final quarter up by one, 86-85.
The fourth quarter was close throughout and with 3:28 left in the fourth, the game was tied at 103 following a Marcus Zegarowski. But from that point on, the Swarm pulled away, outscoring Long Island, 16-11. Of the 16 points, eight were free throws.
Greensboro had six players in double figures led by Jalen Crutcher who had 27 and Xavier Sneed with 23.