Long Island Nets can’t complete comeback, fall to Lakeland Magic

Long Island Nets Brooklyn Nets Jordan McLaughlin. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Mike Lawrence/NBAE via Getty Images)
Long Island Nets Brooklyn Nets Jordan McLaughlin. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Mike Lawrence/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Long Island Nets fell into a 19-point hole in the 4th quarter Sunday and couldn’t climb out of it in a 130-124 NBA G League loss to the Lakeland Magic.

The Long Island Nets on Sunday dropped their first game this season at Nassau Coliseum as the visiting Lakeland Magic built a 19-point lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 130-124 NBA G League victory.

The loss drops Long Island to 7-3 on the season, 4-1 at home.

The Nets led by as much as seven midway through the second quarter before the Magic (5-6) heated up, closing the half on a 24-11 burst to take a 57-51 lead at intermission.

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Lakeland outscored the Nets 38-30 in the third quarter and extended its lead to 102-83 on a 3-pointer by Jeremiah Hill with 10:39 remaining before Long Island began to claw its way back into the game.

The Nets responded with a 13-0 run, cutting the deficit to six at 102-96 on Shannon Scott‘s 3-pointer with 6:58 to go before the Magic were able to end the run.

Lakeland pushed the lead back to 12 on Troy Caupain‘s 3-pointer with 2:33 to go, but Long Island didn’t go away, chipping the deficit back to five on Mitch Creek‘s layup and-one with 1:06 left.

Jordan McLaughlin hit a pair of free throws with 49.7 seconds left to cut the Lakeland lead to 121-117, but the Magic made 9-of-10 free throws to close out the game.

McLaughlin scored 13 of his game-high 29 points in the fourth quarter for the Nets, going 9-for-12 overall and 2-for-5 from 3-point range while making all nine of his foul shots in 25 minutes off the bench. He also had three steals.

Creek finished with 24 points and three steals for Long Island and Dzanan Musa, re-assigned by the parent Brooklyn Nets Sunday morning after playing four minutes in Brooklyn’s loss at Washington Saturday night, finished with 20 points before fouling out.

Musa was 7-for-19 from the floor and 2-for-7 from deep and had seven rebounds, five assists, two steals and five turnovers in 33 minutes.

Alan Williams, on a two-way contract with Brooklyn, finished with 10 points and 14 rebounds before he fouled out. Theo Pinson, who also played four minutes with the NBA Nets Saturday on his two-way deal, went for 19 points, nine assists and two blocks.

Caupain led Lakeland with 28 points, seven assists and three steals. Amile Jefferson added 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Gabe York finished with 23 points as well.

The Nets shot 46.5 percent overall (46-for-99) and were 9-for-33 (27.3 percent) from 3-point range, while allowing 23 points off 18 turnovers. Both teams scored 70 points in the paint.

The Magic hit 50 percent (48-for-96) and were 9-for-23 from deep (39.1 percent). Long Island scored 22 points off Lakeland’s 15 turnovers and the Magic held a 16-12 advantage in second-chance points despite being out-rebounded 53-43.

The Nets are back at home Tuesday morning when they host the Wisconsin Herd, the Milwaukee Bucks’ affiliate, for an 11 a.m. tipoff from Nassau Coliseum before embarking on a three-game road trip Thursday-Sunday that includes games at Canton (rescheduled from Nov. 16), Fort Wayne and Lakeland.

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The Tuesday morning game can be seen on the ESPN+ streaming service.