Celtics 89, Wizards 86
A night after what their coach called a "flat game," Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics held the Washington Wizards to 1-for-14 shooting at the start, then were barely better at the end.
Strong defensive stands early - Washington's only scoring in the first 8 minutes came on Garnett's goaltending call - and late, plus Paul Pierce's 27 points, including a key 3 down the stretch, helped the Celtics beat the Wizards on Saturday for their first victory.
Boston is 1-2. Washington dropped to 0-2 after its home opener in front of a sellout crowd of 20,308 that occasionally included folks chanting "Let's go, Celtics!" Washington is still without two starters: point guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2010 draft, and center Nene.
Bradley Beal, the No. 3 overall pick this year, missed all five of his shots and scored two points for the Wizards, while backup Jordan Crawford led the hosts with 21 points. Another reserve, Kevin Seraphin, played after being sidelined by a right calf injury for their season opener and made his first seven shots, finishing with 19 points. But Seraphin also threw the ball away with Washington down one point and 28 seconds left.
Garnett scored 15, and Rajon Rondo added 12 points and 12 assists.
Nets 107, Raptors 100
Brooklyn made a winning return to major pro sports on as the Nets beat Toronto in the first game at Barclays Center.
After a fifty-five year wait that was extended a couple of extra days by Superstorm Sandy, the borough finally has a team of its own again, and the Nets think it's going to be a good one.
Brook Lopez scored 27 points and Deron Williams added 19 points and nine assists for the Nets. C.J. Watson finished with 15 points and Joe Johnson had 14.
Kyle Lowry had 28 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for the Raptors, who fell to 0-2. DeMar DeRozan added 25 points.
The Nets pulled it out after Toronto got within two with 1:17 left, an uplifting end to a difficult week for the city and the franchise.
The Nets were scheduled to open Thursday against the Knicks, but that was postponed at the request of Mayor Michael Bloomberg because travel to Barclays Center would have been difficult and perhaps dangerous with so much of the city's mass-transit system not operating.
The Nets, still practicing in East Rutherford, N.J. this season, were forced to move their midweek workouts to Barclays Center after their practice center was flooded and lost power. Some team members were forced into hotels.
The Manhattan hotel where the Raptors planned to stay lost power, so the team stayed in Brooklyn, instead.
The Nets lined up buses to run from Manhattan on Saturday, and fans got a boost when some subways began running from Manhattan. The storm's effects were evident at the Atlantic Avenue-Barclays Center transit complex - water damage on the floor, escalators shut off - but the building appeared mostly full long before a lively pregame ceremony.
Commissioner David Stern turned boos into cheers when he announced it was honor "welcome Brooklyn, USA to the NBA." Former Brooklyn Dodgers Ralph Branca, and Joe Pignatano, along with Gil Hodges, Jr., whose father was a star with the beloved Dodgers before they moved to Los Angeles, exchanged jerseys with some Nets players.
The Nets are completely rebranded after 35 years in New Jersey, with a new logo, black-and-white color scheme, and a new mascot called "BrooklyKnight" who was introduced.
Most importantly, they think they'll have a fan base. Never truly loved during while bouncing around multiple homes in Jersey after leaving Long Island, Branca said the Nets will find the same loyal fans in Brooklyn that backed the Dodgers.
The Nets believe they've built a playoff team after re-signing Williams, trading for Johnson and re-signing starters Lopez, Gerald Wallace and Kris Humphries. Billionaire Russian owner Mikhail Prokhorov said the Nets have the "best arena in the NBA and a competitive team."
Williams made a jumper for the first Barclays basket, but Toronto shot 62.5 percent in the first quarter and led 35-27. The Nets outscored the Raptors 33-17 in the second and led 60-52 at halftime.
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