Photos by Clark Thompson and Warren Rosenberg for MSG Sports & Entertainment
As the NBA G-League’s celebration of Black History Month continued, New York’s two G-League teams, the Westchester Knicks and the Long Island Nets, brought their 21 game win records to the floor of the Westchester County Center in what was billed as ‘The Battle of the Burbs’. At risk were bragging rights for two of the NBA’s more successful development league teams.
Wearing uniforms honoring Black History Month, the Westchester Knicks (22-16), the official NBA G League affiliate of the New York Knicks, used a career-high performance from Billy Garrett, the Knicks 6'6" guard out of DePaul, to knock off the visiting Long Island Nets (21-13), 134-130, in double overtime on Saturday evening at Westchester County Center.
The tightly contested battle saw 16 ties and 15 lead changes with the game and the first overtime period ending in a tie. It wasn’t until the final moments of the second OT period that the Knicks pulled away and held on for the win. The Nets took an early lead, closing out the 1st quarter on top with a score of 38-29. The Knicks came back to outscore the Nets in both the 2nd and 3rd quarters with Long Island taking the final quarter to end the game at a 117-117 tie. The Nets took a 126-123 lead with 8 seconds left in the first OT. Garrett brought it back to a tie score with three foul shots closing out the OT at 126-126 tie. At 22 seconds into the second OT, Garrett put the Knicks ahead with a 17 foot jump shot and Westchester never looked back.
Garrett’s superlative evening included a 39-point effort to go along with another career-best, 12 assists. Garrett was 10-for-12 from the charity stripe as well as pulling down four rebounds and three steals without committing a single turnover in over 40 minutes played. Jameel Warney gave a 24-point performance while shooting 55.6-percent. The big man out of Stony Brook, featured in an earlier MetroSports post, also added 10 boards, four rejections, three steals and two assists. Zak Irvin finished with 25 points and one-shy of his career-rebounding effort, ending with 14.
Dzanan Musa paced Long Island and six scorers in double-figures with 30 points and 11 rebounds. Musa also drained six triples on 50-percent shooting. Alan Williams had 16 rebounds.
In addition to taking last night’s game from their rivals across the Sound, the Knicks also announced yesterday acquiring Kevin Olekaibe from the Nets who suited up in the temporary Knicks #7 uniform to help in the effort against his former teammates. The two teams will face each other again on March 16th at the Nassau Coliseum in what is sure to be a hotly contested game.