BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Brook Lopez scored 27 points in his first game since early March, including a clutch 3-point play with under a minute left, leading the Brooklyn Nets to a 107-100 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the franchise's first game in their new home of Brooklyn and the new $1 billion Barclays Center.
Lopez asserted himself as an offensive force in the second and third periods, showing no signs of the foot and ankle injuries that limited him to only six games all of last season. Lopez suffered a sprained ankle March 4 and sat out the rest of the season, after missing most of the first half of the year with a broken foot suffered on the last preseason game.
The Nets took the lead midway through the second quarter, keyed by the play of the team's second unit, led by newcomer C.J. Watson, who had 13 of his 15 points in the first half.
Besides Lopez, the Nets also received 19 points and nine assists from Deron Williams, who was the key signee during the offseason. Williams calmly canned six straight free throws in the final minute. Joe Johnson also scored 14 in his debut with Brooklyn, hitting two clutch fourth-quarter jumpers on set plays after time outs.
The attendance for the first regular-season professional game in Brooklyn in 55 years was 17,752. The last pro team to call Brooklyn home was the Dodgers, before they moved to Los Angeles after the 1957 season.
Kyle Lowry paced the Raptors (0-2) with 28 points, while DeMar DeRozan added 25.
After the Nets led by as many as 13 in the third quarter, the Raptors made things interesting in the fourth, cutting the lead to 84-83 with 8:42 left in the game. Ed Davis scored all five of his team's points to start the fourth period.
But the Nets quelled the run, as Johnson hit a corner jumper, then Kris Humphries scored on a power move down low, pushing the lead to 88-83 with 7:03 left.
MarShon Brooks hit two clutch shots in the fourth quarter to keep the Raptors at bay.
Johnson hit another clutch shot with 1:50 left, giving the Nets a 96-92 lead. Lopez hit a big conventional 3-point play with 59.4 seconds left to salt away the victory in the team's home opener.
Williams was the first player to score a basket in the new Barclays Center, hitting a long jumper 21 seconds into the game and giving the Nets a 2-0 lead.
However, it was the only lead Brooklyn had in the first period, as the Raptors nailed their first four shots from the floor. DeRozan got the Raptors going with a strong move down low, then a long 3-pointer, giving Toronto an early 7-2 lead.
The poor perimeter shooting that plagued the Nets throughout their dismal season a year ago came back to haunt them in the early going, as Brooklyn connected on just five of its first 15 shots.
Lowry, acquired in a trade with Houston in the offseason, was the main offensive threat for Toronto in the first quarter, scoring 11 points, including three consecutive 3-pointers.
The Nets displayed very little interior defense in the first quarter, as Amir Johnson came off the bench to throw down three slam dunks, helping the Raptors push their lead to double digits. The Raptors led, 35-27, after one period, after shooting 62 percent from the floor (15-of-24) during the quarter.
The Nets' second unit injected some life into the team, outscoring the Raptors, 9-2, in the opening stages of the second quarter to get back into the game, capped by a long 3-pointer from Watson right before the shot clock went off.
The Nets then took their first lead since the opening seconds on a steal and layup from Watson with 4:58 remaining in the first half.
Watson, signed as a free agent over the summer from Chicago, was a spark plug in the second period, scoring 13 points.
Humphries extended the lead to 53-48 with 1:00 left in the half with a lane jumper, then added a free throw with 26 seconds left to give Brooklyn a 57-50 lead. Watson canned a long three at the first-half buzzer to push the Nets' lead to 60-52 at the break.
DeRozan paced the Raptors with 16 first half points, while Lowry had 13. Lopez had 14 to lead the Nets and Watson added 13.
NOTES: Nets primary owner Mikhail Prokhorov addressed the media before the first game in Brooklyn, the first time he spoke publicly since announcing that the Nets were no longer interested in Carmelo Anthony more than 18 months ago. "I think it's a great day for the community," Prokhorov said. "When I bought the Nets, I had a vision. It was a great opportunity, a team with a great upside. We're very lucky that Brooklyn is our home and we're part of the Brooklyn community." ... Former Brooklyn Dodgers players Ralph Branca and Joe Pignatano were in attendance for the first professional sporting event in the borough since 1957. "People in Brooklyn have been looking for a team to call their own," Branca said. "Brooklyn is special. It's produced great talent, actors, producers, music artists. It's deserved to have a major league franchise." ... Pignatano, a native of Brooklyn, was ecstatic. "No question, Brooklyn is the best. We had the best fans. The Nets will have those fans. I can feel it." ... The Nets' game against the Knicks, postponed Thursday because of Hurricane Sandy, will now be played Nov. 25. ... Prokhorov, who has recently announced his candidacy for president of Russia, said that he had no favorite in the United States Presidential election. "Because I started my political career last week, I have to be interested," Prohkorov said. "It's a win-win for me. President Obama likes basketball like me. Mitt Romney comes from business like me."