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New Jersey at Washington

Nets 95, Wizards 85

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- After his New Jersey Nets opened the season by beating the Washington Wizards 95-85 behind Vince Carter's 21 points, coach Lawrence Frank praised all of his players and talked about how guys who didn't even get in helped by being "supportive."

Sure, Coach.

Eventually, Frank did get around to acknowledging Wednesday night what everyone knows about these new-look Nets, saying, "Vince was the hub for us."

Carter -- whose teammates elected him the Nets' captain, Frank announced before the game -- scored 15 in the second half. That included a 16-foot fadeaway jumper over Caron Butler with a minute left to put the visitors ahead 90-82 and effectively settle a back-and-forth game.

"We showed a lot of poise," said Carter, who had six assists. "The young guys, I told them: 'Play the game because you love it. Have fun. Let the game come to you. If you make a mistake, forget it, don't compound it."'

These are teams that took very different approaches this offseason. The Wizards essentially stayed pat, re-signing All-Stars Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison to big contracts, while the Nets continued an overhaul that began when they traded away Jason Kidd.

Arenas is sidelined after a third knee operation in 1½ years. Washington also is without center Brendan Haywood, who could miss the season after surgery on his right wrist.

The Nets returned only one starter from last season's opening-night roster: Carter, of course. Overall, only three current players -- Carter, Josh Boone and Sean Williams -- were on the roster at the start of last season, the fewest number of holdovers in franchise history.

That is why Frank installed less than half of his offense so far.

"We're not going to be a finished product now," the coach said. "This is going to be an evolving thing -- clean up and improve and continue to put in things whenever the group is ready for it. We have hardly anything in."

Still, on this night, it was enough.

Newcomer Yi Jianlian scored 17 points, and former Wizards player Jarvis Hayes added 14. They went a combined 13-for-20. Three draft picks made NBA debuts: Brook Lopez (eight points, eight rebounds), Ryan Anderson (five points, three rebounds, two assists) and Chris Douglas-Roberts (two assists).

"We feel we have great depth," Frank said. "There's no falloff in a lot of positions, so there's no reason to pace yourself."

It all revolves around Carter.

"He just had it going," Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. "You can't defend him with one guy."

Six Wizards scored in double-figures, but Jordan wasn't pleased by what he called a lack of energy from his players. Jamison and Butler shot 9-for-29 and totaled 27 points.

"You've got to get your main guys to put the stamp on the game, just like Vince Carter did. Just like Yi did. They're their top guys," Jordan said. "And our top guys had to put a stamp on the game, and they didn't do it."

One bright spot: Washington center Etan Thomas played in his first real NBA game since an April 30, 2007, playoff loss to Cleveland. Thomas missed all of last season after having open-heart surgery, but he looked fit and aggressive Wednesday with 10 points and eight rebounds.

"He's back to his normal self," teammate Andray Blatche said.

When Arenas is healthy, he is the Wizards' top scorer, most creative player and go-to option when they need a buzzer-beater. They certainly could have used him while managing to score only one field goal in the last 6 minutes Wednesday.

Overall, Washington made only 37 percent of its field-goal attempts and 67 percent of its free throws.

"That's a killer," said Antonio Daniels, who is filling in for Arenas in the starting lineup.

Arenas has offered varying estimates for when he might be back, and Jordan was vague.

"No timetable. Due process. He's on course. He's disciplined about it. He's diligent about it," Jordan said. "And we'll just have to see as it goes along."

Notes

When Blatche sauntered into the Wizards locker room before the game with a fresh haircut, Stevenson recognized the old-school 'do right away, labeling it "The Shawn Kemp." ... Washington had six turnovers and shot 5-for-17 in the fourth quarter.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Scoreboard
New Jersey (1-0) «2321252695
Washington (0-1) 2323211885
NJ:V. Carter 21 Pts
NJ:B. Lopez 8 Reb
NJ:V. Carter 6 Ast
WAS:A. Jamison 14 Pts
WAS:C. Butler 11 Reb
WAS:C. Butler 5 Ast
Players of the Game
WashingtonNew Jersey

C. Butler

V. Carter
PtsRebsAstPtsRebsAst
131152136

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New Jersey
V. Carter, SG349-173-336221
D. Harris, SG315-103-455213
Y. Jianlian, SF317-111-262417
J. Boone, PF232-20-03014
B. Simmons, SF182-80-02145
J. Hayes, SF316-90-052314
B. Lopez, C253-82-38138
K. Dooling, PG172-94-42118
R. Anderson, SF151-32-23235
C. Douglas-Roberts, SG140-10-00200
E. Najera, PFDid Not Play
S. Swift, CDid Not Play
T. Hassell, SFDid Not Play
M. Ager, SGDid Not Play
S. Williams, PFDid Not Play
Totals 37-7815-1837222395
 47.4%83.3% 
Washington
C. Butler, SF413-117-10115513
A. Jamison, PF386-181-132114
D. Stevenson, SG335-130-121014
A. Daniels, PG281-26-83418
E. Thomas, C193-54-680310
A. Blatche, SF256-131-260313
N. Young, SG185-90-023110
D. Brown, PG90-10-00310
J. McGee, C90-40-02000
J. Dixon, SG81-40-00022
D. Songaila, PF70-00-02020
D. McGuire, PF60-11-22001
G. Arenas, PGDid Not Play
B. Haywood, CDid Not Play
O. Pecherov, CDid Not Play
Totals 30-8120-3041181985
 37.0%66.7% 
Other Games
Tor 95 Final
Phi 84
Atl 99 Final
Orl 85
Mia 115 Final
NY 120
Ind 94 Final
Det 100
Sac 96 Final
Min 98
Pho 103 Final
SA 98
Mil 98 Final
OKC 87
Mem 71 Final
Hou 82
Den 94 Final
Utah 98
NO 108 Final
GS 103
LAL 117 Final
LAC 79