Harrison Grimm walked into the 76ers Fieldhouse and to his surprise was Zhaire Smith working out before the game.
This got pretty wild. Harrison and I couldn’t stop laughing as the tweet continued to get RT’d by Sixers Stars such as Max and Michael Levin.
The Delaware Blue Coats took charge early on as Jarred Vanderbilt scored the first points. The game was competitive from the start as the teams traded baskets back and forth. The Blue Coats got into a rhythm and converted back to back transition baskets, forcing the Long Island Nets to call a timeout early in the game.
Justin Patton checked into the game midway through the first quarter and threw down a lob pass from Matt Ferrell. Defensively, the Blue Coats looked strong early on and ended up forcing five early turnovers for the Nets. The Blue Coats finished the first quarter leading 26-23 over the Long Island Nets.
The Blue Coats struggled defending the Nets at the rim, as they opted for a smaller lineup not featuring Norvel Pelle and Justin Patton. Patton eventually checked back in and put the Delaware Blue Coats up 39-34 with a mid-range shot.
Patton got it rolling after that mid-range jumper and had an awesome put-back dunk on the next possession; giving him 8 points on 4/5 shooting. Jared Brownridge hit a three to stop the Nets’ run, and pushing the Blue Coats’ lead back to 4 temporarily.
The Long Island Nets finished the second quarter strong and took a 1 point lead over the Blue Coats. They led 52-51 going into the second half.
Norvel Pelle continued to sit next to Zhaire Smith and Shake Milton at the end of the bench in sweatpants. The Blue Coats started the 3rd quarter the way they did the first half: challenging the Nets shooting from the perimeter. Conversely, Rashad Vaughn got the Blue Coats cooking, making his first two shots from 3.
Justin Patton subs in with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter and followed with an immediate block and 2 footer at the rim. In a 5 minute stretch, Justin Patton finished with 4 points, 2 boards, and a block. Even more impressive, three of Patton’s rebounds tonight were on the offensive end. Overall, Justin finished the third quarter with 12 points, 7 boards, and 2 blocks. This was his first second half action with the Delaware Blue Coats.
Rashad Vaughn led the Blue Coats with 12 points in the third quarter. The Nets’ offensive damage was mostly done in the paint. The Nets took an 84-80 lead at the end of the third quarter. Ryan Anderson finished the quarter with 11 points and a team leading 14 rebounds.
The Nets started the fourth quarter on a 11-3 run. Justin Patton subbed in with 9:55 remaining in the fourth. Jared Brownridge stopped the bleeding with a corner three. Justin Patton continued to be active on the glass with an offensive rebound. The Blue Coats tightened the Nets lead after a couple threes from Brownridge. The Nets led the Blue Coats 97-93 with 6:21 remaining.
Back-to-back three pointers by Jared Brownridge and DJ Hogg gave the Blue Coats a 2 point lead with 5:14 remaining. The Blue Coats finished a 13-0 run after a Matt Farrell three. The Blue Coats led 102-99 with 3:17 remaining. Matt Farrell extended the lead after yet another long distance three, but a 4-0 Nets burst tied up the game with 1:58 remaining.
After running through traffic, Rashad Vaughn tied the game with a layup with 48 seconds remaining. After a monster block by Ryan Anderson, Matt Farrell put the game away with a running floater with 1 second remaining.
Post Game Sight Seeing
Post Game Interview with Head Coach Connor Johnson
Discussion topics include…
-Zhaire Smith timetable to return
-Matt Farrell’s game winning shot
-Changing the offensive and defensive sets alongside the Sixers
-Pushing the tempo
-The plan for Justin Patton
-Timetable for Shake Milton’s return