Long Island Nets hold off late Canton charge, win 6th straight

The Long Island Nets held off a late push Monday by the visiting Canton Charge, winning their 6th consecutive game with a 106-102 win at Nassau Coliseum.

The Long Island Nets squandered most of a 16-point second-half lead Monday night against the Canton Charge at Nassau Coliseum, but held off Canton’s late push for a 106-102 victory.

The win was the sixth in a row for the Nets (27-14), whose magic number to clinch their first-ever NBA G League playoff berth shrunk to three with the victory.

Long Island went up 86-70 early in the fourth quarter on a layup by Alan Williams before the Charge (17-25) began to chip away at the deficit.

Deng Adel, on a two-way contract with Canton’s parent Cleveland Cavaliers, converted a three-point play with 2:55 remaining to cut the Nets’ lead to just one at 99-98.

But on the ensuing possession, Jordan McLaughlin found a lane to the rim and laid it in for a three-point edge.

Canton got to within two on Schoochie Smith’s finger roll at the rim with 22.1 seconds left, but Dzanan Musa, on assignment from the Brooklyn Nets, hit two free throws with 14.6 seconds left that iced it for Long Island.

The Nets led 51-48 at the half before breaking the game open in the third quarter, holding the Charge to just 16 points and 30.4 percent shooting (7-for-23), while scoring 10 points off five turnovers in the period.

Long Island hit 45.7 percent on the night (43-for-94) and made 9-of-27 (33.3 percent) from 3-point range, while outrebounding Canton 51-45 and posting a 66-46 edge in paint scoring, a 14-6 advantage on second-chance opportunities and a 13-7 bulge on the fast break.

The Charge shot 43.8 percent (39-for-89) and hit 8-of-26 (30.8 percent) from deep, surrendering 30 points on 19 turnovers. The Nets allowed 18 points off their 15 giveaways.

Williams, on a two-way contract with Brooklyn, scored 20 points with eight rebounds in 28 minutes for Long Island. Kamari Murphy came off the bench for 10 rebounds and two blocks. Shannon Scott, working off the bench as well, finished with eight assists and three steals.

Musa, replaced in the starting lineup by Mitch Creek on Monday, came off the bench for 17 points and six assists in 31 minutes. McLaughlin, starting in place of Scott, had 16 points.

Tahjere McCall, also on assignment from Brooklyn, had 15 points in 28 minutes while going 6-for-8 and grabbing seven rebounds, while Creek dropped in 12 points and Josh Newkirk had 11.

Malik Newman scored a game-high 30 points off the bench for Canton and also had four assists. Adel finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, while Jaron Blossomgame, on assignment from Cleveland, had an identical stat line.

Smith went for 10 points, four assists and three steals, JaCorey Williams notched 11 points and four dimes and Sir’Dominic Pointer blocked three shots.

The Nets now lead the Atlantic Division by 2½ games over Raptors 905 (25-17) and the Westchester Knicks (26-18), pending the outcome of the Raptors road game against the Salt Lake City Stars later Monday night.

Long Island leads the Lakeland Magic (27-16) for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Next: 10 best Nets from 1st NBA decade (1976-86)

The Nets will be at home again Wednesday for a 7 p.m. tip against the Fort Wayne Mad Ants (19-23) in a game that can be seen on ESPN+.

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