Nets hold off 76ers in OT in Brooklyn debut
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The Nets looked nothing like the team that called New Jersey home for 35 years.
Not with black uniforms and white stripes down the sides.
Certainly not with "Brooklyn" emblazoned on the front of the jerseys.
Brook Lopez scored 19 points, Gerald Wallace had 18 and the Brooklyn Nets made their debut with a 108-105 overtime victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.
The Nets had closed the book on New Jersey after spending 35 years in Piscataway, East Rutherford and the team's last home at the Prudential Center in Newark. Turns out, the franchise had one more game left in its old home state.
"We've done a lot of commercials and we've done so many interviews talking about Brooklyn, it was finally good to see them out in a Brooklyn Nets uniform," coach Avery Johnson said.
He knows it's good to have Joe Johnson and Deron Williams in the backcourt, a duo the Nets could have used in New Jersey. Johnson, acquired from Atlanta in the offseason, scored 13 points in his debut. Williams had 14 points.
Evan Turner had 14 points for the Sixers. Andrew Bynum, who is sitting out the preseason to rest his achy knees, watched his team lose from the end of the bench.
The Nets make their Brooklyn debut in the $1 billion state-of-the-art Barclays Center on Monday against Washington. The true Brooklyn debut is the regular-season opener on Nov. 1 against New York.
"Hopefully, we'll carry it over into the Barclays Center that we've been all been anxiously awaiting for a long time," Avery Johnson said.
The Barclays Center will be rocking that night, with some A-list celebrities and a pregame spectacle sure to highlight the return of major pro sports to the borough. Saturday was a Sixers home game and there were only a smattering of cheers for the Nets and a few "No Sleep Til Brooklyn" T-shirts.
Brooklyn hasn't had major professional sports since the Dodgers left town in 1957. Fans can't wait to root for the new home team.
"I'm hearing we're going to have a pretty good crowd for a preseason game," Avery Johnson said. "A lot of folks are talking about it. I heard the lines are going to be long for a preseason game before the doors are open. That's what we want. That's what they do in Oklahoma City and a lot of other teams where franchises have relocated to a city and a stadium."