NEW YORK -- A slow start was not in the cards for the Brooklyn Nets this season, but things are starting to look up after a 104-88 win over a hurting Jazz side on Tuesday night.
Missing four of its key players in Trey Burke, Jeremy Evans, Brandon Rush and Andris Biedrins, the Jazz could not have been happy to see a physical Nets side led by center Brook Lopez, who scored 27 points on 10-of-13 shooting and hauled in seven rebounds.
The Jazz's offense was mired in problems as they shot just 37.8 percent on the night. Guard Gordon Hayward led the team with 22 points while forward Enes Kanter added 21 of his own.
Along with Lopez, five other Nets, guards Deron Williams (10), Joe Johnson (12), Shaun Livingston (11) and forwards Paul Pierce (11) and Andray Blatche (10), recorded double figures in scoring on the night.
Kevin Garnett, who had previously noted that he needs to be more aggressive on offense, was held scoreless for the first half and finished the game with four points.
Ball movement was superb from the Nets (2-2) as picture perfect passing at a very quick pace left the Jazz defense scrambled and Brooklyn with solid looks from the field.
The Nets kicked off the game with a 14-4 run with Lopez getting the ball early and often. And when the Jazz (0-4) momentarily hindered Lopez in the first half, Williams started working his magic as provider.
Williams helped switch up a bruising style of play down low to a finesse brand with mid-range jumpers galore. As Jazz defenders started leaking out, Lopez's looks returned as the Nets built a 54-38 halftime lead. Williams ended with eight assists and the Nets never looked back.
Jazz guard Alec Burks, who came into Tuesday night leading the team with 18.0 points per game, was held to just 13 as the Nets defense did well to isolate and cut him off from the offense. His teammate, guard Derrick Favors, who recently agreed to a four-year, $49 million extension with the Jazz, was non-existent, scoring six points on two-of-eight shooting.
NOTES: Burks, off to a hot start for the Jazz, hasn't averaged more than 7.2 points in a season in his career. ... The Jazz had won eight of the last nine meetings against the Nets, but it was the first time the team had started 0-3 since the 1979-80 season. ... Lopez entered the game with 11 total blocks on the season. The rest of the team had 10. ... This is the third straight season the Nets have started a season dropping two out of their first three games. ... Nets G Tyshawn Taylor practiced before today's game but remains inactive with a sprained ankle.