Nets Make NBA Debut in Brooklyn With Exhibition Win Over Wizards

The Nets made their Brooklyn debut with a 98-88 exhibition victory against the Washington Wizards.

It was the National Basketball Association team’s first game at its new home in New York after 35 years in New Jersey.

Brook Lopez had 18 points and 11 rebounds last night to lead the Nets to the win at the Barclays Center, the arena that’s part of a $4.9 billion, 22-acre project next to Brooklyn’s main public transportation hub.

“It was absolutely fantastic,” Lopez said in a televised interview. “I couldn’t help but smile a lot of the time. The fans brought so much energy, the arena was alive the whole time and they made it fun for us to be out there playing.”

The Nets, who are coming off five straight losing seasons, acquired six-time All-Star guard Joe Johnson during the offseason and brought back point guard Deron Williams, a three-time All-Star.

Johnson scored 14 points last night while Williams had 11 points and nine assists. Nets forward Andray Blatche added 16 points off the bench against his former team.

The distinctive herringbone-patterned court at the Barclays Center showcased the team’s new black and white color scheme on the lanes and baselines, while the center-court logo features a “B” inside a basketball surrounded by the words “Brooklyn New York.” The changes made by Nets ownership, led by Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov, are part of an effort to distance the organization from the team that lost almost 500 games more than it won while based in New Jersey.

NBA Commissioner David Stern said last month at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit that the Nets might become one of the league’s five highest-revenue teams in their first season in the Barclays Center, citing the franchise’s sponsorship and season-ticket sales.

The Nets open their regular-season schedule on Nov. 1 at home against the New York Knicks.

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