Long Island Nets clinch playoff spot

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The Long Island Nets, the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, clinched their first playoff berth in franchise history with a 129-111 victory over the Maine Red Claws last Friday night at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

Long Island is currently 30-14, after winning its  ninth straight two days later, and ranks first in the Eastern Conference. The team has five games remaining in the regular season, including home games at the Coliseum on March 13, 16 and 23.

The NBA G League Playoffs will begin in late March with three single-elimination rounds, with the top two seeds in each conference earning a bye into the second round. The playoffs will then culminate with a best-of-three NBA G League Finals, which will be played in a one-one-one format. Long Island’s playoff schedule will be determined following the conclusion of the regular season.

Brooklyn two-way forward/center Alan Williams registered his 26th double-double of the season with a team-high 21 points and 12 rebounds along with two assists in 25 minutes. Long Island guard Shannon Scott scored 17 points off five-of-eight shooting from 3-point territory, along with four rebounds and five assists in 26 minutes off the bench, while guard Jordan McLaughlin logged his first career double-double with 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds along with six assists and a steal in 32 minutes.

The Nets had a wire-to-wire victory, scoring 36 points in the first quarter alone, led by guard Shannon Scott’s nine points off a perfect 3-for-3 from 3-point range. Long Island took a nine-point lead into the second by a score of 36-27. Maine started to click offensively in the second quarter, scoring 35 points compared to the Nets’ 31. At the break, the Nets led 67-62.

Long Island came out of halftime tightening up defensively. The Nets allowed just 18 points in the third quarter and scored 37 to open up a 24-point lead, 104-80, heading into the final period of play. Long Island extended its lead to as many as 27 points in the fourth quarter and ultimately ended up defeating Maine 129-111.

Maine guard Archie Goodwin led all scorers with 32 points and had six rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks in 34 minutes off the bench. Red Claws center John Bohannon had a game-high 15 rebounds with eight points, four assists, two steals and two blocks in 25 minutes.