With David Duke Jr., Kessler Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe all on the west coast with Brooklyn, the Long Island Nets kept on winning Saturday night in Wilmington, Delaware, putting down the Blue Coats, 116-101.
Long Island is now 10-3 in the G League regular season and winners of four straight. They’re second in the Eastern Conference behind only the Cleveland Charge who’s played five fewer games. The Nets were 10-8 in the Showcase Cup played before the regular season.
The Nets were led by Dru Smith, the Nets newly signed two-way, and Kaiser Gates, the G League veteran, both of whom had 20-10 double-doubles as well as Jordan Bowden who led the team with 24. He’s been an anchor all season long for Long Island, no matter who else is on the court. Noah Kirkwood, the 6’7” shooting guard out of Harvard, had 13, coming back from injury, and Davion Pippen, the Nets 6’10” big, had 15.
As they have in recent games, Long Island survived some early miscues, then jumped out to an early lead led by NBA vet Trevion Graham who finished the first quarter with six of his nine points for the game.
By the half, the Nets were up 62-57, then pushed out to a double digit, 92-78 lead by the end of the third quarter. They coasted home from there.
Left behind to facilitate his integration with Long Island, Smith finished with a +19 and stayed in the game late, even when Long Island went up 23 on this assist to Graham...
Dru the dime dropper— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) January 22, 2023
He's up to 20 points, 10 rebounds and isn't stopping! pic.twitter.com/Kl3GkirOkV
In addition to his 20 points, on 8-of-15 shooting including 4-of-8 from deep, and his 10 boards, Smith assisted on five field goals and recorded two steals and a block. Although 6’3”, Smith has a 6’8” wingspan.
Long Island plays next on Wednesday night at Nassau Coliseum vs. the Iowa Wolves starting at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be televised on the YES App, ESPN+ and the G League’s website.