Nets knock off Raptors in London
Deron Williams added 16 points and 11 assists at the O2 Arena despite playing with injuries to both hands - a strained right wrist and bruised left hand. It was the All-Star guard's first win with the Nets since being acquired from the Utah Jazz last week.
Toronto led 81-78 at the end of the third quarter, but Jordan Farmar hit two straight 3-pointers to start the fourth and Sundiata Gaines added seven points off the bench as the Nets reserves sparked a decisive 20-6 run.
Lopez and Williams did the rest, combining for 11 points after coming back on to make sure Toronto never pulled closer than five points.
The teams will face each other again at the O2 on Saturday, as the NBA decided to bring regular-season games to Europe for the first time as part of its push to increase its fan base on the continent. The O2 has hosted preseason games for the last four years.
The unusual venue meant the public announcer had to do some extra work, explaining some of the basic rules every now and then to the British crowd - like pointing out that a player fouled while shooting gets two free throws. And with crowd support split between the two teams - despite the Nets being listed as the home team - players had the rare experience of being booed by rival fans before every free throw, and then cheered by their own supporters if the shot was good.
While the game featured two teams with losing records and lacked a nailbiting finish, there were plenty of highlights to please the foreign fans. Lopez provided two of the biggest in the first half, first driving through the lane for a hard one-handed dunk to cut Toronto's lead to 39-34, and then jumping over Leandro Barbosa for an alley-oop slam on an assist from Williams to give his team a 42-41 lead.
Williams scored all but two of his 16 points in the second half.