Rapid Reaction: Nets 108, Lakers 102
February, 23, 2014
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Jason Collins made history Sunday night, becoming the first openly gay player to play in an NBA game.
Collins, who signed a 10-contract with the Brooklyn Nets earlier in the day, entered at the 10:28 mark of the second quarter to small applause.
The 35-year-old center, playing his first game as a member of the Nets since Feb. 2, 2008, had two rebounds, a steal and committed five fouls in 11 minutes. Collins played really good defense in the post, and the Nets were plus-eight with him on the court.
He moved into third place on the franchise’s all-time games played list (511).
Collins last played in an NBA game on April 17, 2013 as a member of the Washington Wizards.
What it means: The Nets (26-28) snapped an 11-game losing streak against the Los Angeles Lakers with a 108-102 victory at Staples Center.
Deron Williams improved to 1-18 as a starter against the Lakers (19-37) at their L.A. arena. Williams had his third straight solid game since the All-Star break, posting a season-high 30 points, seven assists, five rebounds, a career-high three steals and three turnovers in 39 minutes. He moved into fifth place on the franchise’s all-time assists list.
The Nets, playing without Kevin Garnett (rest), Shaun Livingston (back) and Marcus Thornton (illness), improved to 3-10 in the second game of back-to-backs.
Paul Pierce had 25 points -- 14 of them in the first quarter -- along with seven rebounds. The Nets hit 12 of their first 15 shots in the opening period and jumped out to a 31-12 lead. The Lakers would get within four in the fourth quarter but never any closer.
Andrei Kirilenko, making his first start of the season, posted his first double double (10 points, 10 rebounds).
A night after going 2-for-21 from 3-point range in their loss to the Golden State Warriors, the Nets went 12-for-25 from downtown against the Lakers.
Andray Blatche (2-for-10 shooting, poor defense) and Marquis Teague (non-factor in 12 minutes) played really poorly. The Nets need Livingston to get healthy and fast.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers.
Up next: The Nets are off Monday, practice Tuesday and face the Portland Trailblazers on Wednesday night at Moda Center.
7:30 PM ET NY Rangers Ottawa 7:00 PM ET Minnesota NY Islanders 7:00 PM ET Boston New Jersey
7:00 PM ET Robert Morris St. John's 8:05 PM ET Columbia Valparaiso 7:00 PM ET Stony Brook Siena
8:00 PM ET Indiana New York 7:30 PM ET Charlotte Brooklyn