NEW YORK (AP) – Brook Lopez scored 18 points in his first regular-season game in about 11 months as the Brooklyn Nets routed the injury-depleted Oklahoma City Thunder 116-85 on Monday in their NBA home opener.
Alan Anderson added 18 points and Deron Williams had 17 points and nine assists for the Nets, who got their leading scorer back on a night the Thunder, already without Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, lost yet another player to injury.
Reggie Jackson scored 23 points in his season debut after missing the first three games with a sprained right ankle, but the Thunder left just as short-handed as they entered when starting guard Andre Roberson sprained his left foot. He played just 11 1/2 minutes of the first half.
Lopez was averaging a team-best 20.7 points when he broke his right foot last Dec. 20 against Philadelphia and had season-ending surgery. He was back for the start of training camp but sprained the foot during an exhibition game in China and missed the Nets’ first two games.
“I can’t put it in words,” Lopez said. “It was great to be back out there. I’ve missed it for a long time and our team definitely took care of business tonight. Our guys make it easy.”
In other games, the Memphis Grizzlies improved to a club-best 4-0 start with a 93-81 win over the New Orleans Pelicans, the Dallas Mavericks hung on for a 118-113 win over the Boston Celtics after blowing a 30-point lead, and the Sacramento Kings topped the Denver Nuggets 110-105.
In Memphis, Tennessee, Marc Gasol scored 16 points, Zach Randolph had 15 and Tayshaun Prince added 14 as the Grizzlies extended their home winning streak to a club-record 16 straight games dating back to last season.
Randolph had 11 rebounds to give him a double-double in each of the team’s four games this season. Gasol (11 rebounds) and Tony Allen (12 points, 11 rebounds) also finished with double-doubles.
After trailing by 31 points in the second quarter, the Celtics had a chance to tie the game against the Mavericks when Avery Bradley was fouled on a 3-pointer by Monta Ellis with 39 seconds left, but he missed the second one.
Ellis then put Dallas back up by three at 116-113 when he was fouled by Rajon Rondo on a drive and made both free throws.
Chandler Parsons scored 29 points and Dirk Nowitzki had 27 points to lead the Mavericks.
Sacramento’s Darren Collison scored 21 points, including three free throws in the final 16.2 seconds, as the Kings held off the Nuggets to improve to 3-1 for the first time since 2010-11. DeMarcus Cousins added 19 points and Reggie Evans grabbed 14 rebounds for Sacramento, which showed no signs of fatigue after beating the Clippers the day before in Los Angeles.
Elsewhere in the league, Blake Griffin scored 31 points and Jamal Crawford added 19 to go over 15,000 in his career as the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Utah Jazz 107-101.