London watches Nets win

NEW JERSEY 116, TORONTO 103

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LONDON --- The New Jersey Nets are still far away from their Russian owner's goal of making the team a global brand and NBA champion. But for now, at least, they're the league's most successful team in games played in Europe.

New Jersey guard Deron Williams drives to the hoop in front of Toronto's Jose Calderon during the first NBA regular-season game played in Europe. Williams had 16 points in the Nets' win. 
  Associated Press
Associated Press
New Jersey guard Deron Williams drives to the hoop in front of Toronto's Jose Calderon during the first NBA regular-season game played in Europe. Williams had 16 points in the Nets' win.

Brook Lopez scored 25 points and New Jersey ended a six-game losing streak with a 116-103 victory over the Toronto Raptors on Friday in the first regular-season game on the continent.

Kris Humphries had 18 points and 17 rebounds and Deron Williams earned his first win since being acquired from the Utah Jazz last week, adding 16 points and 11 assists.

"Happy with my first win as a Net," said the All-Star guard, who played despite injuries to both hands -- a strained right wrist and bruised left hand. "We had a lot of energy today. We were all a little worried about how the trip would affect us, fatigue would set in. But we had a lot of energy. We had definitely some bright spots, some guys played great for us tonight."

DeMar DeRozan led Toronto (17-45) with 30 points and Andrea Bargnani added 23.

The Nets and Raptors will face each other again at the O2 today, as the NBA decided to bring regular-season games to Europe for the first time as part of its push to increase its fan base on the continent. The O2 has hosted preseason games for the last four years.

The attendance for Friday's game was an announced sellout of 18,689, but there were some empty seats.

"I loved the crowd," said Bargnani, who was the highest-scoring European player on the night. "I really felt the excitement. I was nervous in the first half. I think it's going to be better tomorrow."

The unusual venue meant the public announcer had to do some extra work, explaining some of the basic rules every now and then to the British crowd -- like pointing out that a player fouled while shooting gets two free throws.

"These games are great for global basketball, great for the NBA," said Williams. "And I thought the crowd tonight was great, they cheered for both teams pretty equally. When both teams did something good out there, they liked it. And I hope this is just the start of many, many more games."


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