The debut of the Brooklyn Nets got off to a promising start and they will try for back-to-back wins this evening versus the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Barclays Center.
The anticipated season opener for the Nets went as planned, as they recorded a 107-100 victory versus the Toronto Raptors Saturday night behind 27 points from Brook Lopez. Deron Williams had 19 and nine assists, while C.J. Watson and Joe Johnson scored 15 and 14 points, respectively, for Brooklyn, which had its original opener versus the New York Knicks postponed due to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
"This was a special night," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "I am so thrilled to be a part of it. In some ways we tried to downplay it, but this night meant a whole lot to a lot of people."
Johnson, Watson, Andray Blatche and Reggie Evans all made their Brooklyn debuts over the weekend. Evans grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds. In other team news, guard Jerry Stackhouse is the first athlete to wear the number 42 in Brooklyn since Jackie Robinson. Stackhouse did not play Saturday.
The Nets won their third straight season opener and last started a season 2-0 in 2010-11. Nets forward Gerald Wallace left the game late in the fourth quarter with a sprained left ankle. X-rays were negative and he is questionable for Monday.
After hosting the Timberwolves, Brooklyn will head to Florida for consecutive matchups against Miami and Orlando.
Minnesota couldn't solve its woes north of the border and dropped a 105-86 decision to the Toronto Raptors Sunday. Minnesota is winless in nine straight trips to Toronto, last winning at Air Canada Centre Jan. 21, 2004.
Andrei Kirilenko paced the Timberwolves with 17 points to go with six rebounds and Nikola Pekovic followed with 15 points for the Timberwolves, who won their season opener versus Sacramento and will close out a two-game road trip Monday.
Brandon Roy had just four points in less than 22 minutes. Derrick Williams had nine points and eight rebounds in defeat.
The Wolves committed 24 turnovers against the Raptors, including 16 in the first half.
"We didn't take care of the ball in the first half," Minnesota coach Rick Adelman said. "We hung in there and then they took over in the fourth quarter."
Minnesota guard J.J. Barea left the game midway through the second quarter with a concussion after taking a foot to the head from teammate Dante Cunningham. Barea said afterward he will probably play tonight but it will be up to the trainers.
The Timberwolves, of course, are playing without injured centerpieces Kevin Love (hand) and Ricky Rubio (knee). Both will be out for some time. After Monday's bout in Brooklyn, the Wolves will play two straight and five of seven contests at the Target Center.
Minnesota prevailed in the only meeting with the Nets last season, a 108-105 triumph in Newark, NJ on Feb. 3. The T'Wolves are 11-5 in the past 16 encounters with the Nets.