June 27, 2019

Nets Defeat Magic 126-121 in Season Home Opener

D'Angelo Russell gets by Magic's Elfrid Payton in Nets home opener  D'Angelo Russell gets by Magic's Elfrid Payton in Nets home opener Photo Credit: Unknown

Brooklyn Nets capitalize on Orlando Magic’s weakened defense to treat fans to win at the Barclays Center

In front of a home-opening crowd of 16,144 people at the Barclays Center on Friday, the Brooklyn Nets defeated the Orlando Magic 126-121.

Before the game’s start, no one knew what to expect as Jeremy Lin, the team’s leader, was in the hospital. He had successful surgery on Friday morning to repair a season-ending ruptured patella tendon in his right knee that he injured in the season opener against the Indiana Pacers. With Lin out, there was fear that the Nets could repeat a lost season like last season.

So, this win against the Magic felt good. Despite Lin’s absence, it showed that the Nets’ hard work over the summer and the new acquisitions paid off.

"Honestly, that's our brother, so we don't want to forget that. You don't want to forget about him," D'Angelo Russell said. "But going out there I feel like guys knew they had to step up and they did."

Russell, Trevor Booker, and DeMarre Carroll all scored 17 points. Spencer Dinwiddie added 16 points, five rebounds, and five assists.

Booker added 11 rebounds and made the clinching free throws with 0.9 seconds left after Orlando's Evan Fournier missed a tying 3-point attempt. Carroll chipped in eight rebounds to go along with his 17 points.

Even though the Nets had a favorable outcome, Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson had some reservations about the win. He gave the team some slack because the players had to get used to new rotations without Lin.

However, not totally satisfied because of the Nets' play on both ends, Atkinson said, "but still, I think we can do a better job than we did tonight."

Atkinson doesn’t want his team to get used to bad habits because they could end up like Magic center Nikola Vucevic on another day. He had a career-high 41 points in 35 minutes. However, it was not enough to lift his team past the Nets, as the Magic broke down defensively.

“Our defense is what lost us the game,” Vucevic said. “We were able to score. We just never got stops, so we never could play our game, which is at a faster pace.”

“It just wasn’t good enough on that end,” Magic head coach Frank Vogel concurred. “You’re not going to give up 126 points and win too many nights.”

But one can bet Nets rookie Jarrett Allen left the Barclays Center feeling good. He scored 9 points, pulled down 2 rebounds, and blocked a shot. Allen even had an opportunity to show off his athleticism. He had a crowd-loving in-your-face slam over Vucevic off of a Dinwiddie pass in the fourth quarter.

Go, Jarrett.

Next up, the Nets play Atlanta at the Barclays Center on Sunday, October 22, 2017, at 3:30 p.m.

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