Long Island Nets can’t overcome turnovers, lose at Grand Rapids

Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Alan Williams. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Alan Williams. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images) /

The Long Island Nets hung around with the Grand Rapids Drive despite 29 turnovers Saturday, but ultimately dropped a 116-107 NBA G League decision.

The Long Island Nets couldn’t hold onto the basketball Saturday night at DeltaPlex Arena in Grand Rapids, Mich., but the Grand Rapids Drive couldn’t shoot straight early. When the Drive heated up in the second half, it led to a 116-107 loss for the Nets in NBA G League action.

Long Island (5-2) turned the ball over 29 times — including 10 in the first quarter — but the Drive (5-3) shot just 8-for-26 in the first period and 38.3 percent in the first half and led 46-43 at the break.

The Nets tied the game by the end of the third quarter as Jordan McLaughlin came off the bench to can three 3-pointers in the period to score 11 points. Long Island was 8-for-14 from deep in the third period, as Shannon Scott also knocked down three from long range.

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Grand Rapids took control to open the fourth quarter, going on a 16-3 run over the first 3½ minutes of the period to open a 92-79 lead. The Drive led by as many as 16 in the final quarter before the Nets got back to within eight late.

Two-way contract player Alan Williams returned after taking Friday night off in the Nets’ win at Windy City to score 21 points with 10 rebounds in 25 minutes before fouling out, picking up his sixth foul on a Flagrant 1 with 21 seconds remaining.

Rodions Kurucs, on assignment from the parent Brooklyn Nets, finished with 15 points in 32 minutes, but was just 5-for-15 from the floor and turned the ball over six times.

Also on assignment, first-round pick Dzanan Musa had 10 rebounds, but scored only nine points on 3-of-9 shooting and committed four turnovers, as did two-way player Theo Pinson, who finished with 15 points in 37 minutes to go with six assists.

Pinson was 5-for-13 from the floor, but 1-of-9 from deep. Scott had 15 points and seven assists for Long Island.

Khyri Thomas paced the Drive with 24 points, Kenneth Smith added 23 points, four assists and three steals; and Keenan Evans scored 21 points. Johnny Hamilton had 11 points and seven rebounds for Grand Rapids, while Michael Bethea Jr. finished with 11 points and three steals.

Long Island shot 43 percent (37-for-86) overall and hit 14-of-44 (31.8 percent) from 3-point range, giving up 34 points on their 29 turnovers.

The Drive wound up shooting 46.7 percent (43-for-92), hitting 55.6 percent in the second half. They were 7-for-27 (25.9 percent) from long range and had 16 turnovers, leading to 14 points for the Nets.

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Long Island on Tuesday will play the first of two straight games in a home-and-home with the Greensboro Swarm. The 7 p.m. Eastern game on Tuesday from Nassau Coliseum can be seen on YES Network.