All-Star audition for Lopez, D-Will
January, 28, 2013
By Mike Mazzeo | ESPNNewYork.com
Brooklyn Nets center Brook Lopez heard the chants and saw the signs.
Still, being named as a replacement for Boston Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo on the Eastern Conference All-Star team isn’t one of his main concerns.
"I’m just thankful that we have support out there like that," Lopez said after scoring 16 points on 6-for-8 shooting and grabbing five rebounds in his team’s easy 97-77 victory over the Orlando Magic on Monday night at Barclays Center.
Many thought Lopez should’ve already made his first All-Star team as a reserve. But Rondo’s season-ending ACL injury has given him second life.
NBA commissioner David Stern will name Rondo’s replacement.
"Definitely [Brook’s] an All-Star this year," said Nets point guard Deron Williams, another candidate to be named to the roster. "It’s just unfortunate because everybody on the team deserved to be on the team, but now there’s a spot, so there’s still a chance that he can get in."
Nets fans who attended Monday night’s game better hope Stern tuned in. Seven of them seated behind the basket held up letters that spelled out "A-L-L-S-T-A-R." The crowd also chanted "All-Star" at Lopez.
"I have no clue why we don’t have an All-Star," Williams, who had made the past three All-Star games, said. "That’s not really my concern. We’re just concerned about winning basketball games."
"I can’t speak for everybody, but I’m not trying to come out and prove anybody wrong," said shooting guard Joe Johnson, who had made the past six All-Star teams. "I’m just coming out and having fun like we’ve been doing for the past month or so and trying to get a win."
• This is the first time in franchise history that the Nets have won 11 games in two separate months in the same season (they also won 11 in November).
• Williams hit the 20-point plateau for the 12th time this season.
• Reggie Evans grabbed double-digit rebounds for the team-leading 18th time this season and did so without scoring a point for the third time this season.
• Keith Bogans set a season-high with four 3-pointers. His 12 points led all of Brooklyn’s bench scorers.
• Brooklyn’s reserves outscored Orlando’s 41-14.
• The Nets shot 50 percent or better from the field for the sixth time this season.
Final St. John's 74 Providence 79 Final Seton Hall 64 3 Villanova 63 Final Rutgers 31 5 Louisville 92 Final Fordham 74 Dayton 87
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