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Long Island Nets lose fifth straight in blowout, 100-80, as playoff chances dwindle

Long Island Nets v Fort Wayne Mad Ants Photo by Pepper Robinson/NBAE via Getty Images

Are the Long Island Nets in danger of falling out of the playoffs?

After their fifth straight loss Monday night, 100-80, to the Fort Wayne Mad Ants in Indiana, Long Island holds the sixth and final seed in the East. With a record of 16-13, they’re only one game ahead of the two teams tied for seventh seed, the College Park Skyhawks and Westchester Knicks. Both teams hold the tiebreaker on Long Island.

Once again, Craig Randall II, the G League’s second leading scorer, was out for personal reasons and without Randall’s nearly 27 points a game, the Nets offense fell apart. The two players Long Island counted on to take up the slack in Randall’s absence. David Duke Jr. and Jordan Crawford, shot a combined 4-of-21, and 1-of-8 from deep. Thon Maker, a big part of the Nets recent nine-game winning streak, also shot poorly, going 1-of-9 and 0-of-5.

Overall, Long Island shot 30 percent (29-of-96) and 12 percent, not a typo (5-of-41) from three. They even had trouble making foul shots, hitting only 56 percent (9-of-16).

Day’Ron Sharpe, who had averaged better than 20 points and 20 rebounds over the two previous games (both losses), managed to score 19 points Monday and grabbed eight boards, but shot only 6-of-15.

There were not many bright spots for the junior Nets. Brandon Rachal, the 6’6” swingman, scored 12 points on 6-of-11 shooting and added two steals and a block.

Here are the game highlights, such as they are...

For the Mad Ants, Indiana’s affiliate, seven of the 10 players who got on the court scored in double figures led by Gabe York, who finished with 20.

No word on whether Randall will be back for Saturday’s critical game vs. Greensboro in the North Carolina city. Bottom line is that the Nets will have to win out their five remaining games and hope College Park and Westchester lose. G League ends its season on April 2 with the post-season beginning three days later.