NEWARK, DE – The Delaware 87ers (9-8) overcame their lowest scoring output in a first half this season to down the Long Island Nets (6-13) 111-95 in their final game of 2016.
The Nets, one of three D-League teams playing in their inaugural season, held a 50-39 advantage at halftime. In the third quarter, the Sevens looked like a completely different team and outscored Long Island 34-21 in the period to take a 73-71 lead into the fourth quarter.
“I thought we just came out and played a little bit harder,” Head Coach Eugene Burroughs said after the game. “I think we were playing in the mud in the first half; in the second half, basically we just challenged the guys that ‘we just have to play hard, play more together, be selfless, set screens for each other, rebound the basketball’ and we actually came out and defended.”
NBA D-LEAGUE BASKETBALL 2016 - DEC 30 - Delaware 87ers defeats Long Island Nets 111-95

Delaware 87ers Head Coach EUGENE BURROUGHS, RIGHT, provides instructions to his players in the first half of a NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

The 87ers not only had all five starters reach double figures, they got ample production from a short bench. Devondrick Walker and David Laury III had 13 and 16 points, respectively, while Laury III added 15 rebounds to notch the double-double. Delaware’s reserve point guards also played a big role in the win, with Mikh McKinney and Brandon Triche combining for six points, seven rebounds, nine assists and three steals in 31 minutes of work.

NBA D-LEAGUE BASKETBALL 2016 - DEC 30 - Delaware 87ers defeats Long Island Nets 111-95

Delaware 87ers Guard BRANDON TRICHE (7) drives past defender Long Island Nets Guard DONNIE MCGRATH (7) in the second half of a NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

“It’s a great tribute to those guys that practice hard every day and compete every day,” Burroughs said. “I think to be a good team, you have to have guys that step up and play, you know, great minutes in times when you don’t think they’ll play great. I thought it was a great time to let those guys keep going and they shared the ball and moved the ball and they were, I think, the reason we won this game.”

Of all the bench players who stepped up, it was Laury III who took center stage. The Iona product finished off his brilliant December with one of his best performances of the year.

NBA D-LEAGUE BASKETBALL 2016 - DEC 30 - Delaware 87ers defeats Long Island Nets 111-95

Delaware 87ers Forward DAVID LAURY (13) fights for the rebound as Long Island Nets Forward DWAYNE POLEE JR. (12) defends in the second half of a NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

“I think he has been doing what he has been doing for the last, you know, five, six, seven games,” Burroughs said. “He’s a second-unit scorer for us. He’s a guy that we can post up and make plays around the rim. He’s unselfish; he passes the basketball. I think he’s been playing great for us.”

NBA D-LEAGUE BASKETBALL 2016 - DEC 30 - Delaware 87ers defeats Long Island Nets 111-95

Delaware 87ers Forward JAMES WEBB III (3), RIGHT, flies to the hoop for the dunk in the first half of a NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL. Photo By Saquan Stimpson

One player who had been struggling coming into this one, however, was James Webb III. You wouldn’t know it by watching him swish threes and finish highlight-reel dunks on Friday night, but over his last three games, Webb was averaging just five points per game on 30 percent shooting from the field. Webb bounced back against the Nets with a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds. He also shot 4-6 from distance.

 

“I think he was just a recipient of the ball moving,” Burroughs said. “When we move the basketball, I tell our guys everyone’s going to have the opportunity to make plays and get shots, but when the ball stops and we play a lot of one-on-one basketball, then we’re in trouble.”

NBA D-LEAGUE BASKETBALL 2016 - DEC 30 - Delaware 87ers defeats Long Island Nets 111-95

Long Island Nets Guard YOGI FERRELL (11) dribbles towards the center lane as Delaware 87ers Guard MIKH MCKINNEY (10) defends in the second half of a NBA D-league regular season game between the Delaware 87ers and the Long Island Nets (Brooklyn Nets) Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, at The Bob Carpenter Sports Convocation Center in Newark, DEL Photo By Saquan Stimpson

The Nets were led by electric point guard Yogi Ferrell, whose 34 points led all scorers. The Sevens meanwhile, had seven players finish in double figures.
These two teams meet again Monday, Jan. 2 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. The tip is set for 1:30 p.m.
By Varun Raghupathi, 24/Sevens Insider
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