The Least You Should Know
[sny-box]The first half featured 12 lead changes and five ties, as the Nets were able to keep the game somewhat close despite shooting just 16-for-44 (36 percent) at the break.
But the Magic pulled away using a 16-4 run to start the third quarter. Orlando led by as many as 23 in the second half.
Nikola Vucevic recorded a double-double with 19 points and 12 boards. Second overall draft pick Victor Oladipo lived up to the hype, scoring 19 points with six rebounds and four assists off the bench. Andrew Nicholson added a double-double off the bench with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
Paul Pierce turned in another solid performance with 16 points and seven rebounds, and Lopez added 21 points, six rebounds and five blocks.
The Nets shot just 4-of-17 from three-point range. Kevin Garnett, Joe Johnson and Deron Williams combined to shoot just 7-of-28 from the field for 19 points.
Orlando was dominant on the glass, as the Nets were outrebounded 54-42.[/sny-box]
Jason Kidd’s coaching debut did not exactly go according to plan following his two-game suspension. From the start, this game seemed like a trap game, based on the emotional win the Nets earned Friday night over the Miami Heat.
But still, this game was really just a matter of Brooklyn not hitting open shots. Especially in the first half, the Nets got so many open looks that they just were not able to knock them down.
It looked like Pierce – who has scored the most points in NBA history against the Magic with 1,136 – would will his team to a comeback after an emphatic dunk as part of an 8-1 Nets’ run late in the third quarter. But the rookie Oladipo answered right back, and his 360-degree dunk early in the fourth quarter all but sealed Orlando’s victory. His 19 points helped the Magic earn a 45-30 advantage in bench scoring.
The Nets really needed to attack the basket more. They wound up settling for outside shots, and though many of them were open looks, they just didn’t fall, which in turn allowed the Magic to outscore the Nets 42-26 in the paint.
After sweeping the Magic last season, the Nets dropped the first of four contests this year. They’ve now dropped two early games to teams going through rebuilding phases: the Cavaliers and the Magic.
Brooklyn returns home Tuesday to take on the Utah Jazz – the team that drafted Deron Williams eight years ago. Tip is set for 7:30 PM.