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Brooklyn's bench leads the way as Nets drop the Wizards in first preseason game, 111-106 (OT)

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Game One of the 2013-14 preseason is in the books, and without Deron Williams, the Brooklyn Nets were able to beat the Washington Wizards in overtime, 111-106.

Jason Kidd said before the game that he was only going to play the starters about 12 minutes, and he stood by the minutes cap, with no starter playing more than 12 minutes in this one, aside from Shaun Livingston, who got the start in place of Williams, and he played pretty well (4 points, 5 assists and 1 turnover in 18-plus minutes). He held his own in doing the toughest possible job any one player can be asked to do: run the first-team offense; but also got a chance to lead the second unit, which is something he'll be asked to do once the regular season starts.

Kidd said he liked what he saw, considering that the team has eight new players. “Everybody was out there communicating,” Kidd said. “It seemed like we’ve been together a little bit longer than we have.”

The best moment of the game came early on in the first possession of the game, as the first bucket of the season belonged to Paul Pierce, who hit an elbow jumper with an assist from Kevin Garnett. Yes, Garnett to Pierce, for the Brooklyn Nets. Get used to it, Nets fans.

Brooklyn started hot, but fell a bit out of sync midway through the first quarter. A lot of it had to do with rust and some of it had to do, simply, with the fact that, yes, this is the first preseason game of the year. Paul Pierce picked up three fouls in about five minutes, something that only furthers the point that we're talkin' preseason basketball.

The second unit played most of the game, finding an early rhythm, led by Andrei Kirilenko and Andray Blatche, and closing the deficit left by the starters in the first quarter and carrying it through the second half. Kirilenko was active on both sides of the court, looking like he was in mid-season form (11 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 steals and 1 block). Blatche was fantastic, too, scoring 14 points with three rebounds in 21 minutes.

Pierce finished with three points, three assists, two rebounds and four fouls in 12-plus minutes, while Garnett dropped four points and seven rebounds in 12.5 minutes. Brook Lopez was typically hot early, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the game, finishing with 15 points but zero rebounds in just over 12 minutes.

“I was just in awe a little bit, to be honest with you,” said Garnett of Lopez's game. “It’s impressive. I haven’t played with a skill level like that, I don’t think ever. So it’s an adjustment for me to make sure I’m keying in on that and making sure the two of us are on the same page. Impressed is a word that jumps right out.”

Alan Anderson 13 points, Tyshawn Taylor went for 16 points in 34, but turned the ball over seven times (yuck!), while Mirza Teletovic had one hell of a dunk. Mason Plumlee played fairly well in his first NBA game, scoring eight points with five rebounds in 22 minutes.

Really, this game was all about getting the starter's feet wet and then letting the second unit carry them the rest of the way, which is typical for the first game of the preseason. It was pretty at the end, but a win is a win, and the end of the Nets bench carried them to a victory.

The major takeaways here are that the first unit was in sync early, fell out of it for a bit, but re-found their stride, while the second unit was fantastic. This as Deron Williams and Jason Terry sat on the sidelines in street clothes. There was a lot to like about this performance -- especially the bench play -- even though the skeptic may say point to the fact that they were playing a shorthanded Washington team.

Game 2 is Saturday when the Nets come home to Brooklyn to take on the Detroit Pistons.

For more on the Wizards, see: Bullets Forever