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L.I. Nets advance to G League finals

Nets win OT thriller against Lakeland

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The Long Island Nets, the NBA G League affiliate of the Brooklyn Nets, defeated the Lakeland Magic, 108-106, in overtime on Tuesday night in the NBA G League Eastern Conference Finals at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.

The team earned the first Eastern Conference Championship in franchise history, and the Nets will now advance to host the Rio Grande Vipers in Game 1 of the NBA G League Finals this Sunday, April 7, at 7 p.m. at Stony Brook University’s Island Federal Credit Union Arena.

Long Island forward Thomas Wimbush got the start and responded with a double-double, including a game-high and career-high 28 points along with 12 rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes. Brooklyn two-way guard/forward Theo Pinson hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds remaining in overtime, finishing with 18 points, six rebounds, six assists and a block in 39 minutes. Brooklyn two-way forward/center Alan Williams registered a double-double with 15 points and 20 rebounds, with two assists, a steal and four blocks in 32 minutes, and Brooklyn assignee Dzanan Musa added 17 points in 41 minutes.

Orlando two-way center Amile Jefferson led the way for Lakeland in the first quarter with 11 points to give the Magic an early seven-point lead after one, 34-27. Defense took over in the second quarter, with Long Island cutting into the lead, defeating the Magic 23-22 in the second quarter. Heading into halftime Long Island trailed by six, 56-50.

The teams split the third quarter, 27-27, but in the fourth, the Nets took over and it started on defense. Long Island held the Magic to 19 points in the fourth and took their first lead since 2:45 in the first quarter. Lakeland’s Troy Caupain nailed a 3-pointer with 22.7 seconds remaining to tie the game up and send it to overtime.

Long Island had the ball down by one with 2.7 seconds remaining, when the ball was in-bounded to Theo Pinson, who nailed a game-winning 3-pointer to send the Nets to their first NBA G League Finals in franchise history.

Sacramento assignee BJ Johnson logged a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds along with two steals and a block in 34 minutes. Lakeland guard Gabe York had a team-high 24 points with five rebounds and three assists in 36 minutes, while Magic two-way guard Troy Caupain pitched in with 20 points, eight rebounds, six assists, a steal and a block in 37 minutes.