The Los Angeles Lakers improved to 20-31 with a road win over the Brooklyn Nets on Friday, but for Brook Lopez, the game also marked an emotional homecoming.
Lopez, who spent the first nine seasons of his career with the Nets, made his first appearance at Barclays Center since being traded by the organization last June.
The Nets welcomed back their former star center with a classy tribute video in between the first and second quarters, set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.”
After the game, Lopez reflected on the moment and was appreciative of the gesture, via Spectrum SportsNet:
“It was exciting. It was a little weird, but I think once it got settled it was like playing back home on your court. Most importantly, it was great to get a win. I thought the guys were all fantastic. We had a great energy about us. It was cool coming back, seeing the fans, I appreciate them so much. It was such an awesome moment. That’s the kind of stuff you dream about as a kid. To see that kind of support from Laker and Nets fans, it’s awe-inspiring. I can’t thank them enough for the continued support.”
During his tenure with the Nets, Lopez firmly cemented himself as one of the best players in franchise history. He currently resides as their all-time leader in points (10,444) and blocks (972).
In 28 minutes of action on Friday, Lopez helped guide the Lakers to a much-needed victory on both ends of the court. He accumulated 19 points on 8-of-13 shooting and collected three rebounds in the process.
Defensively, Lopez also tallied three blocks and made his presence felt in the paint. One of his blocked shots came on a dunk attempt late in the fourth quarter that helped the Lakers preserve their lead.
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