The Maine Red Claws, presented by Unum, went up against a career night for Theo Pinson and lost at home to an undermanned Long Island Nets team Thursday night, 121-109.
Long Island (17-6) was led by Pinson, who finished with a career-high 43 points on 17-29 shooting, including 7-13 from downtown. Okaro White was the next highest scorer for the Nets with 17 points, while Kamari Murphy added 16 points. Tahjere McCall and Shannon Scott scored 12 points each in the win, while Thomas Wimbush recorded a 10 point-10 rebound double-double.
Maine (8-16) was led by Boston Celtics Two-Way Player P.J. Dozier, who finished with 28 points and 6 assists. Archie Goodwin added 24 points off the bench to go with 9 rebounds. Justin Bibbs dropped in 20 points, and Andrew White scored 17 points. Nick King added 10 points in the loss.
Dozier started the scoring for Maine, dropping in the team’s first field goal attempt. Dozier followed that up with a three-pointer, but Okaro White’s alley-oop slam gave the Nets an 8-5 early lead. Bibbs buried a three, but Kamari Murphy answered with a trey of his own. Theo Pinson buried 3 three-pointers in a row to swell the Long Island lead to 24-12. Pinson’s hot streak continued – scoring 14 consecutive points Long Island went on a 16-0 and 26-2 run, taking a 37-14 lead after 1. The Nets shot 60% from the field, with Pinson scoring 14 points.
Goodwin and Dozier opened the 2nd quarter with two quick baskets. Pinson continued to be red hot for the Nets, but Andrew White scored 2 consecutive baskets to cut the deficit to 14. Okaro White and the Nets got it back out to 19 before White nailed another jumper. Dozier hit a bucket late in the quarter, but Pinson’s 30 first half points gave Long Island a 69-51 lead. Pinson was 11-16 from the floor, including 6-7 from three-point range. Dozier and White led Maine with 17 points each. Long Island shot 58.1% (25-43) from the floor, while Maine shot 48.9% (22.45).
In the 3rd, Brown and Bibbs got hot from the outside, quickly cutting the deficit to 12. Dozier buried a three to get it to single digits at 73-64. Pinson stopped the run with a deep three. Wimbush’s corner trey extended the Nets lead to 84-69. Drew Gordon knocked in a three as the Nets extended the lead back to 21. A pair of Nick King buckets got it closer late, but Long Island led 93-80 after 3.
Pinson opened the 4th with a contested lay-up. Goodwin made a lay-up to cut it to 96-86. Bibbs made it an 8 point game on the next possession. From there, Long Island went on a 12-0 run to re-gain control. Pinson got it to a 20 point lead before Bibbs hit back-to-back three’s and Goodwin’s lay-up cut it quickly to 12. Pinson, Wimbush and the Nets answered to put the game away for good.
The Red Claws actually finished up out-shooting Long Island, shooting 52.8% (47-89) from the floor, 37.5% (12-32) from downtown and 3-12 from the free throw line. Long Island shot 51.8% (43-83) from the field, 40.6% (13-32) from three-point range and 22-29 from the charity stripe.