After being down 24 points with 8:18 left in the third, the Long Island Nets rallied late and beat the Maine Celtics, 102-100, at Nassau Coliseum Wednesday. Jalen Wilson was once again the high scorer for Brooklyn’s G League affiliate, finishing with 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and one steal in 33 minutes...
But it was Noah Clowney who supplied the late game heroics with nine of his 12 points —including the two go-ahead free throws with nine seconds left — in the fourth quarter.
It was long haul back for Long Island, spending much of the game well behind the Celtics.
The Nets defense struggled early to find its footing while Maine’s offense shot 60.0% from the field and 57.1% from deep. Maine closed the period ahead by 16, 36-20. The Celtics maintained their effort in the second quarter, shooting 55.3% from the field. Long Island tried to shrink the gap, but Maine kept its foot on the gas. The Nets closed the first half down by 19 points, 64-45.
The Nets began its comeback in the third quarter. With 8:18 left in the period, J.D. Davidson hit a driving layup to give Maine its biggest lead, 75-51. The Nets staged a mini-rally to end the quarter but Maine held on to most of its lead and entered the fourth still ahead by 16, 88-72.
Long Island’s offense found its stride in the final stanza. Led by Clowney’s nine points in the quarter, the Nets kept pushing and with 52 seconds left, North Amityville’s Terry Roberts, one of two Long Island natives on the roster, finally put the Nets ahead, 99-97, on a 26’ step back three.
After the Celts’ D.J. Steward countered with a three of his own 15 seconds later to give Maine its last lead, things went back and forth until Clowney was fouled with a little more than nine seconds and calmly sank two free throws to give the Nets a 101-100 lead. Long Island’s Kam Hankerson was fouled with a second left and finished the game with a free throw of his own. Final score: Long Island Nets 102, Maine Celtics 100.
Clowney, who shot only 2-of-12 for the game, finished with seven rebounds, six assists and a block. Nets two-way Keon Johnson who has been a Long island stalwart of late, also had a tough shooting night, going 2-of-8 but he added eight rebounds and four assists. Dariq Whitehead had six points on 3-of-7 shooting in 15 minutes of action.
Steward tallied a game-high 24 points for the Celtics in addition to seven rebounds, three assists and one steal in 32 minutes. Boston two-way forward Drew Peterson posted a double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds to go along with eight assists and one block in 36 minutes.
Long Island will now fly across the country to face Stockton Kings on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. ET,