Nets fans who fully packed Barclays Center for the first game of the season against the Cleveland Cavaliers stayed on the edge of their seats until the last second of Wednesday’s game. Cleveland beat Brooklyn by one point with a score that turned from 111-113 in favor of the Nets to 114-113 with the Cavaliers ahead 19 seconds before the end of the fourth quarter.
“That fourth quarter was pure adrenaline,” said Randy Huges, 38, a long-time Nets fan who came down from Queens to see the game. “I was happy with how they were performing from the beginning and I didn’t even expect the level of aggressiveness they showed all through the last quarter.”
Cameron Thomas dropped 15 points in seven minutes in the first quarter, then scored nine more points in the second quarter, taking his total to points in the first half.
“We are gonna make the playoffs, no doubt,” said Todd Limar, 29, from Kensington. “We saw encouraging signs tonight.”
Ben Simmons had one of the strongest performances of the game— though he scored only four points, he grabbed ten rebounds while dishing out nine assists.
“Ben Simons is the most promising this season in my opinion,” said Loren Cabrase, 25, from Flatbush.
Backup point guard Dennis Smith Jr. also did his part posting 10 points and four rebounds.
Having traded all their superstars last year for a newly-assembled young and scrappy lineup, fans were not discouraged by the end score.
“It was a great game and they are only starting,” said Cabrese.
The team had a rough season last year, and fired former head coach Steve Nash just over a month into the season after a disappointing start. Though the team’s performance improved after Jacque Vaughn was brought on as coach, the team was swept out of the playoffs in the first round after losing to the Philadelphia 76ers.
From the Cavaliers, Max Strus took made his chance worth scoring 27 points and 12 rebounds while covering for center Jarrett Allen. Isaac Okoro scored 18 points, and Darius Garland added another 15.
The Barclays Center, with more than 17,000 seats, was nearly totally sold out for Wednesday’s opener.