Dzanan Musa of the Long Island Nets rebounded the basketball with 14 seconds left in regulation and found his teammate Mitch Creek hustling down the court in transition. Creek secured the pass and used his strength to bully his way past Capital Go Go’s Devin Robinson for the game-tying layup and a foul.
“I just saw the youngster in the lane and I knew I had size and strength against him,” Creek said after the game. “I knew I was going to draw the foul or get a lay up. I was lucky enough to get both.”
Creek made the free throw to put the Nets up by one with eight seconds left. He finished the game with 17 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in 36 minutes.
Jordan McRae of the Go Go’s, who had a game-high 30 points, attempted to win the game on a drive to the right side of the basket, but was unable to shoot over a lengthy Theo Pinson. The Nets improve to 2-0 following the 128-127 victory over the Go Go’s at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Thursday.
“I thought Theo did an awesome job when he was on Jordan McRae,” LI Nets Head Coach Will Weaver said. “That’s a bonafide scorer. We drafted him when I was in Philly, and I believe in that kids ability to score at the NBA level. But I also believe in Theo Pinson’s ability to become an elite NBA defender if he wants to.”
Pinson had a huge game on both sides of the ball. He finished with 29 points, six assists and six rebounds on 75 percent shooting from the field. He also displayed an ability to shoot from three-point range at a high volume. He made six of his eight shots from behind the arc. Four of Pinson’s three-pointers came in the second quarter, which played a significant role in regaining the lead before halftime. The Nets trailed the Go Go’s by 13 points with 9:26 left in the quarter, but entered halftime with a one-point lead.
Pinson’s newfound ability to shoot from three-point range is new for him. He shot just 25 percent from deep in four years at the University of North Carolina.
“I’m constantly working on it every day, that’s my job now,” Pinson said. “My job is to get work in and improve everyday. Now i’m getting countless shots up everyday. These guys are encouraging me to shoot the ball and its carrying over to the games.”
Alan Williams finished the game with 26 points and a team-high 14 rebounds as he continued to exhibit that he is back to full strength and is ready for minutes with Brooklyn. He also connected on 12 of 14 shots from the free-throw line. He is now shooting 83 percent from the line through the first two games of the season.
Musa also played well, finishing with 19 points, seven rebounds, four assists and one three-pointer. Like Williams, Musa also found himself at the foul line in this game. He made 10 of his 12 shots from the line. The team shot a combined 85 percent from the line in the narrow win.
While the offense was flowing well, the Nets did not have the best outing on defense. The team allowed the Go-Go’s to score 42 points in the first quarter on their way to allowing 127 points.
McRae finished the game with 30 points to go with four rebounds and four assists, but Pinson’s defense helped hold McRae to just 38 percent shooting from the field. Washington’s other two-way player Devin Robinson finished with 21 points and four rebounds.
The Long Island Nets will head north to play the Raptors 905 on Friday night at 7:30 PM EST as the team looks to build on a 2-0 start.