Long island Nets crack Red Claws behind Theo Pinson’s 43

Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Theo Pinson. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Theo Pinson. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Long Island Nets took a 25-point lead in the 2nd quarter Thursday and never trailed en route to a 121-109 NBA G League win over the Maine Red Claws.

Theo Pinson scored an NBA G League career-high 43 points, 30 of them in the first half, as the Long Island Nets blew out to a quick start and never looked back in a 121-109 win Thursday over the Maine Red Claws at the Portland Expo Building in Portland, Maine.

Pinson scored 14 points in the first quarter as the Nets (17-6) blasted out to a 37-14 lead over the Red Hawks (8-16) and added 16 more in the second period as Long Island went to the half up 69-51.

Long Island avenged a loss to the Red Claws at Nassau Coliseum on Dec. 16 and allowed the Nets to expand their lead in the Eastern Conference of the G-League to two games over the Westchester Knicks.

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Pinson, on a two-way contract with the parent Brooklyn Nets, had set a previous career-best of 29 points in a win over the Capital City Go-Go in Uniondale on Nov. 8. The undrafted rookie from North Carolina is now averaging 19.9 points per game in 19 appearances with the Long Island affiliate.

The Nets never trailed Thursday and the Red Hawks never got closer than nine points in the second half, the last time with 8:40 remaining when they cut the deficit to 97-88.

The Nets responded with an 11-0 run to go back up 108-88 with 5:25 remaining.

Pinson, who received significant playing time in his last two appearances with Brooklyn, has appeared in six games overall with the parent Nets, averaging 1.7 points, 1.5 rebounds and 1.8 assists in 9.8 minutes per game.

He is 4-for-15 overall and has missed all eight of his 3-point attempts while making a pair of free throws. Pinson played 28 minutes in Brooklyn’s loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Dec. 29 and logged 16 minutes Monday when the Nets lost to the Boston Celtics.

Against Maine on Thursday, Pinson was 17-for-29 overall and hit 7-of-13 from 3-point range while also dishing out five assists in 41 minutes of playing time.

Long Island shot 51.8 percent (43-for-83) on the night, the fifth straight game in which they’ve topped the 50 percent mark, and were 13-for-32 (40.6 percent) from deep, while beating the Red Claws on the glass 46-38.

The Nets, however, held a 17-4 edge in second-chance points and outscored Maine in the paint 58-54. Each team committed 17 turnovers, with the Nets holding a 25-22 advantage in points scored off those mistakes.

Thomas Wimbush came off the bench to post a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds, while Shannon Scott had 12 points and five assists.

Okaro White made his debut for Long Island after signing with the club as a free agent last week and had 17 points in 26 minutes. Kamari Murphy added 16 points and Tahjere McCall dropped in 12.

Maine shot 52.8 percent (47-for-89) and was 12-for-32 (37.5 percent) from 3-point range.

PJ Dozier, on a two-way contract with Maine’s parent organization, the Celtics, scored 28 points with six assists and three steals for the Red Hawks. Archie Goodwin, a former Brooklyn Net, added 24 points and nine rebounds and Justin Bibbs dropped in 20 points.

Dallas Lauderdale finished with six assists and two blocks.

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Long Island will travel to Washington to face Capital City for a 7 p.m. Eastern tip Saturday from the Entertainment and Sports Arena in D.C.