NEW YORK (AP) – Brook Lopez scored 20 points in his return from an injury-shortened season, and Deron Williams also had a strong return from surgery in the Brooklyn Nets’ 111-94 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv on Tuesday night.
Williams had 17 points and seven assists in Brooklyn’s preseason opener. The Nets now head to China, where they will play exhibition games against the Sacramento Kings in Shanghai and Beijing.
Lopez played in only 17 games last season and was the Nets’ leading scorer before breaking his right foot in December. He had surgery to repair that injury and later another procedure on his left ankle.
He shot 8 of 12 Tuesday while playing into the fourth quarter.
“It was great to be back on the floor,” Lopez said. “I felt so giddy when we first got on the floor, standing on the court, getting shots up. To be back out with the guys was a fantastic feeling.”
Williams made it through last season but struggled with ankle problems for a second straight campaign. He had surgery on both ankles during the offseason.
“They are an integral part of our team and having them both back and both healthy and playing at the highest level, that’s the key for us to succeed,” forward Andrei Kirilenko said.
Joe Johnson scored 14 points, and Kirilenko and Mirza Teletovic each added 13 for the Nets. Kevin Garnett started his 20th NBA season with six points and five rebounds.
Jeremy Pargo finished with 27 points, seven assists, six rebounds and a thunderous dunk in the final minutes for Maccabi, the Euroleague champions who had plenty of crowd support in Barclays Centre, with Israeli flags all around the arena.