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Westchester Looks to First Win Streak at Long Island

By ahawleyalexander | November 3, 2018

WESTCHESTER KNICKS (1-0) vs. LONG ISLAND NETS (0-0)
Saturday, November 3 • Uniondale, NY (Nassau Coliseum)
7:00 PM (ET)

The Westchester Knicks worked up a 13-point lead over Maine in its season opener Friday, November 2. The Red Claws battled back late, outscoring the Knicks’ in the fourth until Returning Player John Jenkins silenced Maine’s comeback attempt in waning time, 95-92. The Long Island Nets hosts Westchester in its season home opener tonight.

QUICK HITS

Westchester and Long Island split a 2-2 series’ record in last year’s campaign.

Billy Garrett put up 16.3 points per game in the four game Nets’ series which included two starts.

Sekou Wiggs added 16.3 points per game against Long Island in three games as well as 6.0 rebounds.

Long Island averaged 95.0 points against the Knicks and gave up 93.0 a game.

The Nets shot 40.0-percent from three against Westchester last year across our games.

INJURY REPORT

Trevon Blueitt (low back) is out.

PLAYER TO WATCH

John Jenkins had 19 points in Westchester’s opener and shot 42.1-percent from the field. He had the hot hand early knocking down all three of his triples in the first half and going 50-percent from distance for the game.

GLASS CLEANER

Stephen Zimmerman grabbed a team-high 10 boards, which also tied a game-high, over Maine yesterday. This consisted of three offensive boards and seven on the defensive end.

LAST TIME OUT

The Westchester Knicks, the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, had five in double-figures in a 95-92 victory over the Maine Red Claws Friday evening at Portland Expo Building.

Returning player John Jenkins was the Knicks’ high point-getter with 19 on 42.1-percent shooting. Jenkins also drained 50-percent of his looks from three, 3-of-6, while registering three assists and a pair of rebounds.

Isaiah Hicks put up a 16-point, six-rebound and one-assist effort before surrendering to foul trouble in 19 minutes. Kadeem Allen added 15 points to the cause while Gyorgy Goloman (12) and Paul Watson (10) contributed off the bench. Stephen Zimmerman’s 10 boards comprised of seven on the defensive end and three on the offensive glass, tied a game-high.

The host was led by Walter Lemon who netted 26 points on a 52.3-percent clip. Robert Williams III mirrored Zimmerman’s rebounding numbers while also tallying 11 points for a double-double. Marcus George-Hunt (14), Justin Bibbs (12) and P.J. Dozier (10) also scored in double-figures. Williams III rejected a game-high three shot attempts.

Westchester went up by as many as 13 points last seen at the 1:46 mark of the third quarter and flirted with a double-digit advantage with just about four minutes remaining in the game.

A Hicks’ layup with 3:57 left had the Knicks ahead 90-80 but would be the only live ball make for Westchester for the next 2:43 while Maine got behind a 12-3 run to erase all but one-point of its deficit, 93-92.

With just 13.7 seconds remaining, Jenkins settled for a baseline jumper to put Westchester back up three. On the ensuing possession, a deep three-point heave by Georges-Hunt following a Maine timeout was off the mark as time expired.

LAST MEETING

On March 8, 2018, The Westchester Knicks (28-16), the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, had a bad case of déjà vu in a repeat loss against the Long Island Nets (25-19), the Brooklyn Nets’ affiliate, after falling to its cross-burb rival two nights ago. Tonight, the final score stalled at 99-95 in Long Island’s favor.

Knicks guard Billy Garrett broke his career-high of 26 points, finishing with 29 tonight to go with five assists and four rebounds. Guard Sekou Wiggs scored 16 points for the third game in a row, also supplying six assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Paul Watson and Zak Irvin contributed 10 points each, Watson also with five rebounds and Irvin also with four steals and three rebounds. From the pine, Devon Baulkman provided 11 points and Jordan Henriquez-Roberts chipped in eight points with 10 rebounds.

On assignment from Brooklyn, Isaiah Whitehead paced the Nets with 26 points, four rebounds, and three each of steals and rebounds. Two-Way player Milton Doyle notched a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, also contributing seven assists and three steals. Nets affiliate player Kamari Murphy also nabbed a double-double, his with 12 points and rebounds, while Two-Way player James Webb III supplied 14 points with four assists.

Long Island came out hot, drawing up a quick 14-point lead highlighted by four consecutive shots from beyond the arc, three of which came from James Webb III. The Nets held a double-digit lead for most of the quarter, though both teams were putting up enough shots to end at a lofty 41-31. Battling back in the second quarter, Westchester pulled within one with just over seven minutes left in the half, and again midway through, before Long Island took off on an 8-0 run. Pulling back in to close the quarter, the Knicks trailed by just five at the half, the score 60-55.

Westchester tied it up three times in the first part of the third quarter, but the Nets maintained at most times a one-possession lead. Knicks big man Jordan Henriquez-Roberts wanted none of that and laid one in to give Westchester its first lead since the very first possession of the game. After outscoring Long Island 26-18 in the third, the Knicks held a three-point advantage heading into the final quarter.

The Nets took its lead back with 9:37 on the clock, the teams trading leads four more times throughout the fourth. With just 2:15 to go, the teams were knotted at 91. A controversial foul from Westchester’s Billy Garrett put Isaiah Whitehead at the line, where he sank both free throws to put his team up two. He then gave his team another two points off a lay-up but Knicks guard Sekou Wiggs answered with one of his own. Two fouls on Westchester followed, Shannon Scott going 4-for-4 from the line, and a last-second driver from Wiggs was too little too late as Long Island once again spoiled the Knicks’ chance to clinch a playoff berth.

CROWN ME

Westchester Knicks head coach Mike Miller was named the 2017-18 NBA G League Dennis Johnson Coach of the Year, as voted on by G League head coaches and general managers. Last season, he led the Westchester Knicks (32-18) to its first Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division titles and the top overall seed in the 2018 NBA G League Playoffs.

JUST A REFRESHER

Westchester, the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, finished the 2017-18 season with a league-best 19-6 on the road, boasting one of the league’s top defenses, ranking second in the league in opponent points per game (101.5), first in opponent blocks (3.7), third in opponent field goals made (36.9), and third in defensive rating (102.1). The team also finished the season second in the league in both net rating (4.5) and three-point percentage (38.7). Westchester’s longest losing streak of the season (three games) happened just once, with the team losing back-to-back on only three occasions.

Three players received a combined five NBA Call-Ups last season: Trey Burke (New York Knicks), Xavier Rathan-Mayes (Memphis Grizzlies), and Nigel Hayes (Los Angeles Lakers, Toronto Raptors, Sacramento Kings).

Current New York Knicks guard Trey Burke was twice the NBA G League Player of the Week and subsequently the Player of the Month for December last season. Head coach Mike Miller was named the NBA Development League Coach of the Month back in November 2016, a first for both the league and the team.

TWO-WAY PLAYERS

Beginning in the 2017 offseason, NBA rosters expanded from 15 to 17 players with the addition of two spots for players under “Two-Way Contracts.”

NBA teams may have up to two players under NBA Two-Way Contracts who will spend the bulk of the season in the NBA G League and not more than 45 days with their NBA team. Two-Way players are paid a corresponding daily amount based on the number of days they play in each league. Only players with four or fewer years of NBA service are able to sign Two-Way Contracts, which can be for either one or two seasons.

Allonzo Trier and Isaiah Hicks are both under Two-Way Contracts for Westchester.

LET ME SEE YOU FLEX

 The NBA G League’s flexible assignment system – which was instituted prior to the 2014-15 season – will continue to enable the independent NBA teams to assign players to the NBA G League for development or rehabilitation from injury. Trevon Blueitt is on flex assignment via the New Orleans Pelicans.