Nets open preseason with loss to Turkish team

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NEW YORK -- Well, at least that one didn't count.

The Brooklyn Nets lost their preseason opener 101-96 to a Turkish professional basketball team called Fenerbahce Ulker on Monday night. It felt like a road game because there were so many Fenerbahce fans in attendance -- singing, chanting and making for a festive atmosphere in what was a mostly empty arena.

"My understanding is they've been practicing since September, and this is their fifth game," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "We've been practicing for five days, and this is our first game, so that's a big difference. All that being said, we were right there and had our chances."

The Nets still have more than three weeks of practice time to fix things before they face the Chicago Bulls in the regular-season opener Oct. 28. Their biggest concern clearly lies on the defensive end, where they allowed their opponents from Istanbul to shoot 48.7 percent from the field and connect on 11 of 21 3-point attempts. Jan Veseley, the sixth overall pick of the Washington Wizards in 2011, scored 18 points on 9-for-14 shooting.

"We had a lot of great plays, but the thing that hurt most was defensively," Nets swingman Joe Johnson said. "We had so many breakdowns defensively that we all were in trouble -- whether it was us as guards getting broken down and putting the bigs in bad situations, or whether it was the bigs not being up on the pick-and-roll and then making our rotations longer, and they were knocking down shots. It goes hand in hand. We're not blaming one or the other. It's just collectively it's a team effort that we have to get better at."

Brook Lopez was active and even hit a 3-pointer from the wing. Thomas Robinson grabbed 16 rebounds. Wayne Ellington showed a confident touch from the outside. But by the end of the game, the Nets were playing Shane Larkin, Ellington, rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, Quincy Miller and Justin Harper. Ellington missed a pair of free throws late, and Hollis-Jefferson couldn't finish a layup.

The Nets will face an NBA opponent, the Detroit Pistons, on the road Thursday night.

"We're still trying to find ourselves," Johnson said.

Andrea Bargnani (hamstring) claims his injury isn't serious and he expects to be back "very soon."