After their 97-91 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats, the New Jersey Nets' long nightmare is over. New Jersey has its first win on the season, improving to 1-18 tonight after setting an NBA record for most losses to start a season, with 18. Brook Lopez--an All-Star in the making--tallied 31 points, 14 rebounds, and 2 blocked shots in the win.
The Nets have four former Orlando Magic players, which is why I'm mentioning their win on a Magic-centric site. Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, Keyon Dooling, and Courtney Lee played a combined 600 regular-season games for Orlando. Lee played a big role in New Jersey's win tonight, with a career-high 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting, including connecting on 3 of his 4 attempts from three-point range. He added 4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 3 steals for good measure. Battie played his first-ever game as a Net, only recording a missed field goal in 6 minutes. Keyon Dooling also made his season debut, and scored 2 points on 1-of-4 shooting. De to a sore left knee, Alston did not play.
The Magic sent Alston, Battie, and Lee to New Jersey in June in the deal headlined by eight-time Vince Carter coming to Orlando; Ryan Anderson, a 21-year-old power forward, also went to Orlando in that transaction. Dooling arrived in New Jersey as part of a sign-and-trade transaction in 2008, after the Magic were unwilling to go above the luxury-tax threshold in order to meet his salary demands.
Congratulations to Rafer, Tony, Keyon, Courtney, and the rest of the New Jersey Nets.
UPDATE: Here's Chris Sheridan's game story for TrueHoop, which includes this bit about Lee, speaking about the last time he won an NBA game:
For Lee, it had been 156 days since he won a meaningful game. "I remember, I dunked on Derek Fisher and had 13 in that game," Lee said, showing memory skills not quite up to par with his basketball skills (he scored only 4 points in that Game 3 victory over the L.A. Lakers during the finals, which he followed up with a 4-point performance in Game 4 -- part of the reason that he is no longer with the Orlando Magic).
Is Sheridan suggesting the Magic would not have traded Lee had he played better in the Finals?