After a hard-fought double overtime victory against the Cleveland Charge on Friday night, the Long Island Nets headed into Detroit to play the Motor City Cruise, the G League affiliate of the Pistons. It was the Cruise who came away with the win, 117-101.
Both the Nets and Cruise were looking to extend their respective win streaks to five games apiece, with two two teams also facing off on the second half of a back-to-back. To make it even crazier, both teams were coming off overtime wins in their previous game.
The Nets and Drive kept the game close in the opening period, exchanging baskets throughout the first quarter. It was in the second when Motor City opened with a run, though the Nets responded with one of their behind hot shooting from Bryce Brown. The Cruise would end the half in control, possessing a 90-53 lead.
Long Island completely flipped the script in the third quarter, jumping up by as many as 7 points. The Cruise would fight back to go up one point, 87-86, entering the final period.
After a back-and-forth start, The Cruise would push their advantage to double-digits push mid-way through the fourth. The Nets responded with their patented 3-2 zone, but Motor City was able to pull away. Saben Lee put the game away with a shot-clock beating pullup midrange to give the cruise a 12 point lead with a little over 2 minutes left.
David Duke Jr. led the Nets in scoring, posting 22 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. In the absence of backcourt mate Craig Randall, who was out with rest, Duke had to fill a big burden on offense.
Duke has now scored 72 points in three games for Long Island.
The Nets two NBA veterans had decent games. Ty Wallace (106 NBA games) assumed point guard duties without Randall present, and dished out a team-high seven assists to go along with his 20 points. Thon Maker (263 NBA games) had eight points, three rebounds and in 20 minutes but missed all five of his 3-point attempts.
The game was lost for Long Island behind the three-point line, where they struggled to convert on long range opportunities. A 5-of-30 outing was good for 17 percent shooting from the arc, which paled in contrast to Motor City’s accurate 39 percent shooting.
The twelve shot difference in three pointers made was enough to make up for the Cruise’s 7 extra turnovers.
Long Island will look to avenge their loss against Motor City on Monday. The game will tip off at 7 p.m. and air exclusively on NBAGLeague.com.