Pierce, KG fall short in Nets debut

Pierce, KG fall short in Nets debut
October 31, 2013, 2:00 pm
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Paul Pierce scored the first basket of the Brooklyn Nets 2013-14 regular season and, like he did so many times before with the Boston Celtics, tried to land their first win as well. But Pierce’s game-tying attempt did not fall, and the Nets opened their season with a 98-94 loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on the road Wednesday night.

Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who were traded from the Celtics to the Nets this summer in a megadeal, both started for their new team. It was the first regular season game Pierce has played for any organization other than the Celtics. He clocked 30 minutes, scoring 17 points (5-8 FG, 3-4 3PG, 4-4 FT) along with 4 rebounds and 2 assists. Garnett shifted back to the power forward position and played 26 minutes with 8 points (4-8 FG, 0-0 FT), a game-high 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals.

Trailing 93-91 with 16.9 seconds to go, Pierce missed a jumper to even up the score. He banked a trey with 3.5 remaining to cut the Cavs lead back to three, but the young team held on to upset the visiting veteran squad.  

Garnett, who has repeatedly emphasized the building process of the season, saw areas of the game for his team to grow from in the loss.

“I wouldn’t say effort,” Kevin Garnett said, according to the New York Post. “It’s not a perfect game, but through those times you’re imperfect, they filled those gaps and won those loose balls, those 50-50 balls, those little small things that win games. But like I said and like I keep on saying, these are learning lessons.”

Pierce took the game in stride, knowing an Opening Night game doesn’t dictate the entire season. “Things can happen overnight, things can happen down the road,” he said. “But I’ve seen a lot of great things out there tonight that we can keep building on and we can move forward.”

Former Celtic Jason Terry, also included in the trade, scored 14 points (5-10 FG, 4-9 3PG) in 19 minutes off the Nets bench.