Nets beat Raptors in Brooklyn debutThe chant was 55 years in the making, delayed a couple days by disaster, and delivered by a sold-out crowd that wasn’t missing this party no matter what it took to get there.
Those were the lyrics of a rocking return to major pro sports.
“That gave me jitters, man. Chills,” guard Joe Johnson said. “I know that these fans want the best for this team. All they want from us is to work hard and give them a show.”
Brook Lopez scored 27 points, Deron Williams added 19 points and nine assists, and the Nets beat the Toronto Raptors 107-100 on Saturday night in the first game at Barclays Center.
A crowd of 17,732 that included entertainers Jay-Z, a part-owner, and wife Beyonce chanted the borough’s name a few times during the game and loudly at the end, celebrating the name on the front of the shirt much more than the back.
And with good reason. Brooklyn hasn’t had a team to cheer since the Dodgers left for Los Angeles in 1957.
Nets coach Avery Johnson said there was so much that was special about the game, which came two nights after their scheduled opener that was postponed because travel around the city was wrecked by superstorm Sandy.
“Let’s just start with the fact that we’re in Brooklyn now and it’s a big difference,” Johnson said. “You saw the crowd tonight, even under the circumstances. Not only did we have a sellout, they were into the game.”
C.J. Watson finished with 15 points and Joe Johnson had 14 for the Nets, who needed a home as badly as Brooklyn needs a team, and Avery Johnson said it’s close to a perfect match.
Kyle Lowry had 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Raptors, who fell to 0-2. DeMar DeRozan added 25 points.
“We’ve had two games in which we’ve been in the same situation, playing really well at times and then we fall behind. But we’ve fought hard against Indiana and the Brooklyn Nets, which are going to be two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. That gives us a lot of confidence,” guard Jose Calderon said.
In Miami, Ray Allen had a four-point play with 6.7 seconds left that put Miami ahead for good, Chris Bosh scored 40 points and the Heat held off the Denver Nuggets 119-116 on Saturday night.
LeBron James finished with 20 points, 11 assists and nine rebounds, and Allen scored 23 for the Heat, who escaped when Danilo Gallinari’s 3-point try with 2 seconds left bounced off the rim.
In Chicago, Greivis Vasquez scored 18 points and the New Orleans Hornets beat the Chicago Bulls 89-82 on Saturday night even though they were missing Anthony Davis.
The LA Clippers, who handed a humiliating third straight loss to the LA Lakers on Friday, was succumbed to the Golden State Warriors 114-110 on Saturday.