Sometimes, you just throw up a stinker and that’s what happened to the Long Island Nets in the first game of their five-game road trip out west Saturday night, losing to the Stockton Kings, Sacamento’s G League, affiliate, 116-93, at the Golden 1 Center in California’s capital.
Like their win over the Maine Celtics Thursday, Long Island went down big early, but unlike the Celtics game, their fourth quarter surge wasn’t nearly enough. In fact, Stockton never trailed in the game.
The Kings led by six points at the end of the first quarter but the middle two quarters their defense, particular perimeter D, fell apart and at one point early in the fourth, they were down by 38 points before head coach Mfon Udolia pulled the starters.
The Stockton Kings shot 52.9% on 87 attempts from the floor, setting a season-high in made field goals. The Kings also shot 14-for-35 from beyond the arc and 70% from the free throw line. They dominated on both sides of the ball, finishing with 26 assists and season-high 44 rebounds.
The Long Island Nets got marginally better in the fourth, going 12-for-21 from the field and shooting 100% from the free throw line. Two starters combined for four points but the bench added 28 points in a futile comeback. The Nets would drop their first game since December.
Jalen Wilson was the Nets high scorer with 14 points in 24 minutes, shooting 4-of-7 overall. He also grabbed four boards and handed out three assists. Noah Clowney was dominated down low by NBA vet Skal Labissiere. Clowney could only manage six points and three rebounds in 17 minutes, his time on the court marred by four personals. Labissiere finished 17 and 8. Both Kaiser Gates and Kennedy Chandler scored 10 points for Long Island while Terry Roberts had 11.
Keon Johnson, like Wilson a two-way, had a very uncharacteristic bad shooting night, hitting only 3-of-11 overall, 1-of-6 from deep. The Nets as a team shot a miserable 21.9% from beyond the arc, 7-of-32.
Long Island play the Santa Cruz Warriors on Monday, then go back to Stockton on Wednesday before heading home to Nassau Coliseum via Chicago for two games vs. the Windy City Bulls. They play again at home on January 23 vs. the Motor City Cruise, the Pistons affiliate.