Long Island Nets turn it up for a 99-75 win over Westchester Knicks
Nets run wild after halftime as Jeremy Senglin scores 27
A ferocious second half wiped out some frustration in Long Island.
After two straight losses and a shaky first half that left the Long Island Nets down nine against an undermanned Westchester Knicks squad, the Nets blitzed the Knicks in the second half and ran away to a 99-75 win at NYCB LIVE, home of the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
The Nets (24-19) outscored the Knicks 38-14 over the first 14 minutes of the second half and eventually ran their lead to 28 points in the final minutes.
Jeremy Senglin led the Nets with 27 points, but coach Ronald Nored singled out Senglin's intensity before his shot-making.
"It's been Kendall (Gray) and Jeremy in the last couple games," said Nored. "Their energy, their effort, their fight, their hunger, their nastiness, all that together has fueled our team. Once we did that, we got stops. It's funny what playing hard does for you. We started making all kinds of shots. We made everything. And when we weren't playing hard, nothing could fall."
The Nets were still down 48-39 midway through the third quarter when Milton Doyle slashed to the rim for a basket and James Webb III came up with a steal and a layup. Senglin's 3-pointer brought Long Island within 53-50 and two JJ Moore free throws finally tied the game at 58. Senglin came up with a steal and a layup to put the Nets up 60-58, their first lead since the first quarter.
Finally, Doyle defended a transition opportunity, scooped up the loose rebound and hurled in a 60-footer at the third quarter buzzer for a 63-58 lead.
Doyle kept going from there, knocking down two more threes early in the fourth quarter as the Nets extended their run to 17-0 and took firm control of the game at 73-58. Doyle finished with 18 points, making 4-of-7 3-pointers.
"That opened it up for him a little bit," said Nored. "I think it takes the pressure of Milton a little bit if we're defending the way we are, because then it just turns into easy shots on the other end. When we're struggling to score and we're not defending well, Milton feels like he has to press to get us one. And that's one us, that's not on him. That's on us. He's doing what he's supposed to be doing. But when we play hard, he gets easy shots."
Long Island shot 48.8 percent in the second half and 50 percent from 3-point range, turning the offense around after shooting 31 percent overall and 16.7 percent on 3-pointers in the first half. Westchester struggled offensively in the first half as well, but Long Island truly took the Knicks out of their game in the second half.
The Nets had seven second-half steals and the Knicks finished with 21 turnovers after giving it up just eight times in the first half. After Westchester grabbed eight offensive boards in the first half, the Nets held them to just five after halftime, including just one in the third quarter. The Knicks shot 26.2 percent overall and missed all seven of their 3-point tries in the second half.
"We didn't change the scheme, we just did it much better the second half," said Nored. "Our pick and roll defense was better, guys were more locked in. We didn't communicate well in the first half, the second half we communicated. Guys knew they were going to be in certain spots. We were really, really connected defensively."