After winning 16 straight games in the G League — two short of the single-season record, the Long Island Nets fell to the Maine Celtics Sunday in Portland, 121-112. Long Island still leads the Eastern Conference standings and with a 3.5-game lead and six to play, they’re likely to go into the G League playoffs as the No. 1 seed.
The Nets were down most of the game and in the third quarter, the Celtics sprinted ahead by 22 in a game where physicality reined.
The physicality ramped up in the third, matching the intensity from Thursday’s nail-biting Long Island win as Treveon Graham was ejected. Maine used the intensity to to pull away, After a Nets run to end the third, Maine led 93-75.
The Nets found another gear and went on an 8-2 run at the start of the final quarter to claw back within single digits. Long Island’s full-court press threw the Celtics out of rhythm and caused a couple of costly turnovers, and it wasn’t long before they were within a handful, 101-96, inside the four-minute mark.
After a coach’s challenge by the Nets, Scottie Lindsey and Mfiondu Kabengele of the Celtics each hit a 1-for-2 that were Maine’s only points from 7:31 until the game was inside two minutes. Kamar Baldwin came through in the clutch again, hitting a pull-up from the free-throw line and a dagger step-back three to give the Celtics a 115-106 lead with less than a minute to go, ending the streak.
Raiquan Gray scored 24 points and snared 11 rebounds to lead Long Island (22-4). Jordan Bowden had 20 points and four assists. Alondes Williams registered 16 points, six rebounds and nine assists. Kavion Pippen logged 14 points and Chris Chiozza and Kameron Hankerson each tallied 10 points.
The game was not without highlights from Long Island, particularly from Bowden and Gray...
Gray makes it a 10 point game pic.twitter.com/JHQaTlP3vp— Long Island Nets (@LongIslandNets) March 12, 2023
The Nets were hoping to match the 18-game single season record set by the Idaho Stampede 15 years ago. The record over two seasons is 19, held by Rio Grande Valley Vipers.
Long Island was without the Nets two two-ways, David Duke Jr. and Dru Smith who remain on the road with Brooklyn, and Day’Ron Sharpe who’s played eight games with Long Island.
Next up: Long Island returns home Tuesday to play the Fort Wayne Mad Ants at 7:00 p.m. ET. The game will be telecast on both the YES App and ESPN+.
- Game Report: Maine Celtics 121, Long Island Nets 112 - G League
- Game Highlights: Maine Celtics 121, Long Island Nets 112 (Video) - G League