Herd Ups Winning Streak to Nine, Beats Long Island 125-116
UNIONDALE, NY - The Wisconsin Herd (9-1), the NBA G League affiliate of the Milwaukee Bucks, used a late fourth quarter run and extended its winning streak to nine games after defeating the Long Island Nets (1-8) 125-116 on Tuesday night inside Nassau Coliseum.
Six Herd players scored in double figures, including three players who tallied 20 or more points. Jaylen Adams led all Wisconsin players and recorded a season-high-tying 27 points to go with nine rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Rayjon Tucker totaled 25 points on eight made field goals, while Frank Mason returned to the lineup and posted 23 points, six rebounds, five assists and a team-high two blocks. Jemerrio Jones registered a season-high 17 points and added 11 rebounds and three assists and Cameron Reynolds had 13 points and six rebounds in 30 minutes of action. For the third straight game, Brandon McCoy scored in double figures and pitched in with 11 points and nine rebounds off the bench.
Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot led all players and poured in a game-high 32 points on 13-of-30 shooting. Henry Ellenson, Long Island's second Two-Way player, posted 25 points, 17 rebounds, three assists and two blocks, while CJ Massinburg registered 14 points and 11 rebounds of his own. Jaylen Hands and C.J. Williams had 13 points apiece and Devin Cannady added 12 points.
Long Island began the game by tallying the first five points on consecutive buckets by Kurucs and Luwawu-Cabarrot. In response to the early five-point deficit, the Herd scored 17 of the next 22 points and jumped out to an early 17-10 advantage with 6:47 remaining in the period. The Nets managed to erase Wisconsin's seven-point lead and regained the advantage on a free throw by Hands that was worth two points. Long Island had a 13-point swing and went on to lead by as many as six points in the final minute of the quarter. With under 12 seconds on the clock, Reynolds scored the final points of the stanza and buried a three-pointer to pull the Herd within three. Despite getting 10 first quarter points from Jones and shooting 54% from the field, Wisconsin trailed 35-32 at the end of the opening 12 minutes.
Long Island tallied the first points of the second quarter on a driving finger roll by Williams, but Wisconsin answered by scoring five straight points to tie the game at 37. Not only did the baskets by Tucker and Reynolds tie the game, it also forced a quick Long Island timeout with 10:16 left to play in the half. Minutes later, the Herd jumped back in front and used a mini 6-0 spurt to regain the lead, 47-41. Wisconsin upped its lead to eight points in the frame and were led by Tucker who made all three of his field goals and scored nine second quarter points. The Nets, however, had a strong finish to the half and pulled to within two after scoring eight of the final 10 points. The Herd shot just 37% but produced its second consecutive 30-point period and led 62-60 at the intermission.
Mason and Tucker began the second half by scoring the first four points for Wisconsin, and the Herd extended its lead back to six. After exchanging baskets for a four-minute period, Long Island trimmed its deficit to one when Cannady knocked down a 24-foot jumper. In the final 90 seconds of the quarter, the Nets retook the lead and led 89-88 on a pullup three-pointer by Hands. On the ensuing possession, Adams answered right back and gave the Herd a 90-89 advantage when he connected on a driving floater down the lane. The final 1:25 of the third quarter featured four different lead changes, but it was Wisconsin who struck last with a three-pointer by McCoy with 2.6 seconds remaining in the period. Each team tallied 31 points in the quarter, which means the Herd's lead remained at two heading into the final 12 minutes.
The Nets poured in a three-pointer at the outset of the fourth quarter, but Wisconsin countered with a 12-5 run and led 105-99 with 7:19 left to play in the contest. Once more, Long Island made it a one-point game with just over three minutes on the clock, but the Herd used six quick points by Tucker and Mason to reup its lead to seven. Adams totaled nine points in the final period, and with him as the spark plug, the Herd scored 13 of the final 18 points in the game. Wisconsin led for the final 8:31 of the contest and amassed 120 or more points for the third straight game. The Herd, who are the G League's sixth-best three-point shooting team, made just 31% of its long balls, but held Long Island to 39% shooting overall and won, 125-116.
The win snaps a three-game head-to-head losing streak against the Nets and marks Wisconsin's first win against Long Island since Feb. 23, 2018. Additionally, the Herd still owns the longest current winning streak in the G League and are a game a half ahead of the Main Red Claws (7-2) for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Wisconsin will conclude its brief two-game east coast road swing with a conference showdown with Maine on Thursday, Dec. 5. Tip-off is set for 6:00pm CT inside the Portland Expo Building, and the game can be found on ESPN+.
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