Long Island Nets can’t stop slide in 112-109 loss at Lakeland

Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Theo Pinson. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Long Island Nets Theo Pinson. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The Long Island Nets lost their 4th straight game Monday night, finishing up their first half with a 112-109 NBA G League loss to the Lakeland Magic.

For the Long Island Nets, it’s officially a slump.

The Nets extended their season-long losing streak to four games Monday night as a furious comeback in the final five minutes fell just short in a 112-109 loss to the Lakeland Magic at RP Funding Center in Lakeland, Fla.

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The loss drops Long Island (21-14) into third place in the Eastern Conference of the NBA G League, 2½ games behind the Magic (24-12). The Nets are a half-game behind second-place Raptors 905 (22-14) and just a half-game up on the Westchester Knicks (22-16), currently in fourth place.

Long Island has won just three of its last 10 games.

The Nets trailed by 10 points with 5:04 remaining Monday before putting together a 12-2 run to tie the game on Dzanan Musa‘s coast-to-coast layup with 1:30 to go after grabbing a defensive rebound.

Lakeland reclaimed the lead just 17 seconds later on a floater by Troy Caupain with 1:13 left.

It got sloppy from there. Theo Pinson missed a 3-pointer that would have given the Nets their first lead since holding a 35-34 advantage with 10:18 left in the first half.

Anthony Brown turned the ball over, however, with an offensive foul with 54.5 seconds left. He atoned for the mistake, stealing a pass from Jordan McLaughlin on the next possession.

After a Caupain miss with 22.6 seconds left, McLaughlin’s layup was blocked by Brown with 14.3 seconds left.

Long Island was forced to foul and Brown knocked down both free throws to give Lakeland a 110-106 lead with 12.5 seconds left. Alan Williams canned a 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds to go to get the Nets back to within one.

But after John Petrucelli hit two foul shots for Lakeland, Williams’ potential game-tying 3 at the buzzer was off target.

The Nets were able to hang around despite doing themselves no favors with their ball-handling, committing 28 turnovers in the game, one off their season-high.

They stayed in the game with their work on the offensive glass, outrebounding the Magic 57-45 and posting a huge 24-9 edge in second-chance points.

Long Island shot just 40.2 percent (37-for-92) and made 12-of-35 from 3-point range (34.3 percent). Lakeland hit 43.6 percent (41-for-94) overall and was 10-for-39 (25.6 percent) from deep.

Pinson, a two-way player with the parent Brooklyn Nets who was named to the First Half All-NBA G League East team on Monday along with Williams, finished with 23 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for Long Island. He also had five assists.

Musa, on assignment from Brooklyn, had 16 points and 13 rebounds, while McLaughlin finished with five dimes. Shannon Scott went for 13 points and three steals.

Williams, Brooklyn’s other two-way player, had 14 points and Mitch Creek added 13.

Braian Angola-Rodas paced the Magic with 19 points off the bench and also had four steals and two blocks.

B.J. Johnson had 17 points and eight rebounds for Lakeland, Jeremiah Hill dished out four assists, Petrucelli had 13 points and five steals, Gabe York went for 12 points and three thefts and Antonio Campbell blocked two shots.

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The Nets will be idle until Feb. 21, when they host the Sioux Falls Skyforce at Nassau Coliseum for a 7 p.m. Eastern tip. The game will be broadcast on ESPN+.