Lopez returns as Nets rout injury-depleted Thunder
NEW YORK (AP) -- Brook Lopez scored 18 points in his first regular-season game in about 11 months, and the Brooklyn Nets routed the injury-depleted Oklahoma City Thunder 116-85 on Monday night in their home opener.
Alan Anderson added 18 points and Deron Williams had 17 points and nine assists for the Nets, who got their leading scorer back on a night the Thunder, already without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, lost yet another player to injury.
Reggie Jackson scored 23 points in his season debut after missing the first three games with a sprained right ankle, but the Thunder left just as short-handed as they entered when starting guard Andre Roberson sprained his left foot. He played just 11 1/2 minutes of the first half.
Lopez was averaging a team-best 20.7 points when he broke his right foot last Dec. 20 against Philadelphia and had season-ending surgery. He was back for the start of training camp but sprained the foot during an exhibition game in China and missed the Nets' first two games.
He had played so little that coach Lionel Hollins joked before the game that he would watch the 7-footer to "make sure he doesn't trip over his tongue."
That wasn't a problem because Lopez got a quick rest, heading to the bench in less than three minutes after picking up two fouls. The Nets began building a big lead soon after, taking a 32-19 lead after going 5 of 7 from 3-point range in the first quarter.
Brooklyn took a 59-40 lead to halftime when Bojan Bogdanovic and Mason Plumlee hooked up for an alley-oop to beat the buzzer.
The Nets led by as many as 35 in the second half, Durant standing in the coaches' huddle during timeouts with his broken right foot in a walking boot whenever Scott Brooks tried unsuccessfully to halt Brooklyn's momentum.
The Thunder fell to 1-3, though this was the first time they were never really in the game. Perry Jones and Sebastian Telfair each finished with 16 points.
Lopez shot 6 of 10 from the field and 6 of 7 from the foul line in 24 minutes.
Thunder: Oklahoma City had won five straight road games against the Nets, dating to when the franchise was based in New Jersey.
Nets: Kevin Garnett appeared in his 1,380th regular-season game, tying former Net Cliff Robinson for eighth on the career list. ... The Nets are 3-0 in home openers since moving to Brooklyn. The Empire State Building was shining black and white lights to celebrate this opener. ... The Nets will play four games during a weeklong homestand, including one against the rival New York Knicks on Friday.
Thunder: Visit Toronto on Tuesday, wrapping up an opening week that sends them 6,300 miles for five games, just one at home.
Nets: Host Minnesota on Wednesday.
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