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A Promising Effort, but Celtics Edge Nets 122-117 in Season Opener

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)

Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, center. (Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports)


The Brooklyn Nets battled, but ultimately lost their season opener by a score of 122-117 to the Boston Celtics on Wednesday night.

The Nets (0-1) trailed by 23 points in the fourth quarter, but their reserves engineered an 18-2 run to come all the way back late.  Justin Hamilton missed a 3-pointer that would’ve tied the game in the final minute.

Starting in place of the injured Randy Foye, Bojan Bogdanovic led the Nets with 21 points.  Hamilton added 19 points off the bench, while Jeremy Lin and Joe Harris scored 18 and 16 points, respectively.  Brooklyn made 15 of a franchise-record 44 3-point attempts.

Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists in the win for the Celtics.  Al Horford added 11 in his Boston debut.  As a team, the Celtics shot 53.9 percent from the field.

Brook Lopez struggled, finishing with just seven points on 1-for-7 shooting.  Ironically, his only made field goal on the night was a 3-pointer.  Kenny Atkinson, who lost in his head coaching debut, wants to run a more fast-paced offense.  Lopez looked lost at times on the floor on Wednesday night, often standing flat-footed on the perimeter as his teammates moved without the basketball.

The Nets played hard for Atkinson, rallying from a large deficit in garbage time with Chris McCullough and rookie Isaiah Whitehead on the court.  Both players went scoreless in their four minutes of playing time, but McCullough finished with a +14 and Whitehead a +12 for the Nets.  Atkinson showed faith in his young players, sticking with them over the likes of Lopez, Lin and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, who had a quiet night offensively.  It wasn’t until the final minute when he brought his starters back in to try and force overtime.   Trevor Booker (8 points, 7 rebounds, 5 assists & 3 steals) was the only starter on the floor when the Nets made their run.

Atkinson used 12 of his 13 players in Brooklyn’s first game.  Anthony Bennett dressed but did not play.  Foye and rookie Caris LeVert were inactive.


The Nets will face the Indiana Pacers in their home opener on Friday night at Barclays Center.

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Jason Goldstein is a co host of the Baseline Jumper NBA podcast, recording every Tuesday night along Ben McDonald. Jason has also spent time as the Basketball Editor at while also handling the Brooklyn Nets Lead Writer duties since October 2015.
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