LONDON, ENGLAND–London’s O2 Arena was the site of the first ever NBA regular season game in Europe. The O2 venue is the biggest domed arena in the world and was just about sold out to watch the Raptors and Nets duel to a 116-103 Nets win. Hush, no one tell these Londoners they were watching the two of the worst teams in the NBA.
While many were expecting both teams to show fatigue from the jetlag and time difference, neither team showed any signs.
The Raps and Nets took turns leading throughout much of the game, but the Raptors fell apart in the fourth. Toronto led by three points entering the fourth, but after the dino defense allowed many easy baskets, they lost all momentum. Brook Lopez had a big game for the Nets as he scored 25 points, while Deron Williams, who was hampered by a wrist injury had 16 points and 11 assists. Kris Humphries was a monster in the paint scoring 18 points and 17 rebounds. Yes, Raptors fans, this is the same big awkward Kris Humphries that played in Toronto a few years back. Humphries has been born again in New Jersey, averaging 9 PPG and 9 RPG. Did I mention he is also currently dating Kim Kardashian?
There were a few bright spots in the Raptors losing cause. Demar Derozan was electric all game long leading all scorers with 30 points while shooting 12-19 from the field. Bargnani scored 23 points, but struggled to find any consistency with his shot. Calderon had another poor shooting night going 2-11, but had 12 assists. Calderon now has 10+ assists in 11 of his last 14 games. The bench played a big part in the game scoring 34 points, led by Ed Davis’ 12 points and 8 rebounds.
The Raptors now fall to 17-45, and are currently the fifth worst team in the league. Keep up the support Raps fans, fifth worse will look a lot nicer come draft night.
Game Notes: Alexis Ajinca played just under six minutes before suffering a lower body injury. He did not return. Someone needs to tell Ajinca that he is 7 feet tall, park him under the basket and force him to post up. Nobody likes a 7 footer with an inconsistent shot and a fear of the paint.
The Raptors and Nets play the second game of a back-to-back tomorrow at 3 pm.
The game will once again be held at the O2 arena in London. While this was the first regular season NBA game in both London and Europe, the impressive O2 arena has held NBA preseason games and NHL games in the past. O2 is a structural wonder that can fit 72 tennis courts and the Eiffel tower if it the tower was put on its side.
Check back tomorrow to see the second recap of the Raptors and Nets in London. England.
Photo Credit: Yahoo.com