Nets 137, SESI/Franca 89: Taurean Prince and Deep Scoring Keys Preseason Opening Win

Eight Nets in double figures as Brooklyn shots 60 percent

The Brooklyn Nets opened their four-game preseason schedule on Friday night at Barclays Center by breezing to a 137-89 win over SESI/Franca Basketball Club of Brazil.

Taurean Prince led the Nets with 22 points, making 6-of-8 3-pointers and shooting 8-for-10 overall to lead eight Nets in double figures. The Nets shot 60 percent and had 40 assists on 51 field goals.

“Really good. I liked our quick decisions,” said coach Kenny Atkinson. “That’s part of our principles. Shoot it, move it, drive it. Guys did a really good job across the board. We’ve got to follow it up again. Forty’s a big number. Very pleased with that.”

Dzanan Musa and David Nwaba each had 18 points for Brooklyn, Nic Claxton and Caris LeVert had 13 and Jarrett Allen and Garrett Temple both had 12.

Leading by 21 at halftime, the Nets opened the second half with a 17-0 run that included two Prince 3-pointers and took a 91-54 lead.

The Nets rolled to a 74-53 halftime lead after a 42-point second quarter. Prince had 14 points at the break, making 4-of-5 3-pointers in the half as the Nets went 10 deep and shot 63.4 percent in the half.

The Nets went with a starting lineup of Spencer Dinwiddie, LeVert, Prince, Rodions Kurucs and Allen. In addition to the expected night off for Kyrie Irving, Joe Harris was held out of action as well. Harris spent six weeks practicing and playing with Team USA through the middle of September.

“Forty days I think he was on the road with Team USA,” said Atkinson. “We just think collectively it was the best thing. Of course he wanted to play. But think it’s best. I expect him to play China though. He might attack me if I say you’re not playing again.”

PRINCE CONTINUES TO IMPRESS

Taurean Prince keeps checking off boxes on his way to his official regular season Brooklyn Nets debut on Oct. 23.

Coming into camp, Prince was a player consistently cited by teammates for looking sharp in offseason workouts and pickup games. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson affirmed that impression during a week of training camp practices, and then again on Friday night.

“He’s following up on what we’ve seen in practices and offseason work,” said Atkinson after the game. “Not only his shooting, but I was impressed how quickly he gets it off. His release is really quick. He can get it off in small spaces. I thought he made some nice passes too, whether it was out of the pick and roll or just coming off a ball screen and finding guys. Just a very good all around game for him.”

CLAXTON’S DEBUT

The Nets were up by 30 points by the time Nic Claxton checked into the game with less than nine minutes remaining, and the rookie made an electrifying debut.

“I get excited. He’s got something dynamic,” said Kenny Atkinson. “He’s fast. I was really impressed with his IQ. Some of those switches we were talking about with their big guys he figured it out, then made a nice pass with his right hand. That’s one of the things that impressed us in college, how good a passer he was. His IQ. He gets his shot down, he’s gonna be a pretty good player in this league.”

Claxton scored 13 points on 5-of-6 shooting with two blocked shots. Running the floor and finishing with dunks on cuts to the rim, he quickly got into a groove.

“When Garrett (Temple) hit me on that first layup, I think that helped my confidence out a lot, just me seeing the ball get through the basket, I think it helped me out a lot.”

NWABA STARTS STRONG

Kenny Atkinson talked about the value of depth on Wednesday, and there were indicators that the Nets were in good shape in that area on Friday. There was the deep scoring, but also solid all-around performances from second-year swingman Dzanan Musa and summer additions Garrett Temple and Davis Nwaba

“Swiss army knife,” is how Atkinson described Nwaba, who shot 7-for-8 with five rebounds, four assists and two steals. “He’s going to have to plug holes, fill holes, play 4 and play 3, play 2. Sometimes guard their best player. Great utility guy. Physicality. Toughness. Really been pleased with him also. Great pickup.”

DURANT WILL STAY HOME

Before the game, Kenny Atkinson confirmed that Kevin Durant will not join the team on its trip to China. The Nets depart Sunday for two games against the Lakers.

“We decided that it’s better that he continues his rehab here,” said Atkinson. “It makes sense.”

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