The five young Nets — three two-ways and two first round picks who combined for 61 points in Brooklyn’s controversial loss to the Milwaukee Bucks Wednesday — were back in the G League Friday night but they couldn’t withstand a late comeback by the Cleveland Charge, losing in the last minute, 123-122.
Noah Clowney continued his strong play both in Brooklyn and on Long Island, finishing with 25 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in 34 minutes. It was Clowney’s highest scoring game in the G League and follows his 14-point, four-rebound outing for Brooklyn which the 19-year-old admitted was a big confidence booster. He told reporters post-game that he now knows he can compete at the NBA level. The 6’9” Clowney was taken with the Phoenix Suns pick in last June’s draft, the first of five picks and swaps the Nets acqured in the Kevin Durant trade.
Jalen Wilson, who had 21 and 10 vs. the Bucks, finished with 16 and 5 for Long Island in 40 minutes while his fellow two-ways Armoni Brooks and Keon Johnson finished with 14 and 12. Dariq Whitehead, still on minutes restrictions following his foot surgery in June, did not play. Kennedy Chandler, Long Island’s 6’0” point guard, had a strong game as well with 20 points and four assists.
The Charge were led by the trio of Emoni Bates, Sharife Cooper and Isaiah Mobley, who combined for 95 of the team’s 123 points in the game. Cooper scored 36 points and dished out 14 assists with three steals in 46 minutes. Mobley posted a double-double of 31 points and 14 boards with two blocks in 39 minutes. Bates, like Mobley a Cavalier two-way, scored 28 points on 8-of-17 from three-point range in 35 minutes. Zhaire Smith added 14 points and eight rebounds in 39 minutes.
The Nets were up 48-29 after the first quarter and 54-31 early in the second firing up 3-pointer after 3-pointer.
Third 3⃣ of the night for Kyler Edwards pic.twitter.com/dtAp3wYp8m— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) December 29, 2023
Slowly, though, the Charge began chipping away to get back in the game as the Nets defense couldn’t handle Cooper...
“We knew we had more than we showed in the first quarter. The guys came together instead of breaking at that point,” said Charge head coach Mike Gerrity.
“I think momentum is huge,” said Mobley. “So once you have it, you try to capture it and bottle it up because it can take you far.”
At the end, the Nets found themselves down in the high-scoring contest. Wilson hit two free throws to tie the game at 120 with 1:11 left but Cooper hit a 27-foot 3-pointer with 33 seconds left to put Cleveland up. G League veteran Kaiser Gates hit a layup to bring Long Island to get within a point. Cooper missed a three for the Charge with time running out and Clowney’s 49-foot attempt at a buzzer beater missed its mark.
The two teams will meet again here in Cleveland Saturday, December 30 at 7:00 p.m. ET
- Box Score: Cleveland Charge 123, Long Island Nets 122 - G League
- Game Report: Cleveland Charge 123, Long Island Nets 122 (with Video) - G League
- Cleveland Charge defeat Long Island Nets 123-122 - Tony Pesta - Fear the Sword