Miles Bridges scored a team-high 32 points as the Charlotte Hornets won their third straight to spoil the Brooklyn Nets’ home debut with a 111-95 win on Sunday.
Charlotte, who trailed by eight points at halftime, shook off a slow start by outscoring the Nets 61-37 in the second half.
The Hornets are 3-0 and off to their best-ever start to a season.
“That just shows where our growth is,” said forward Bridges, who finished one point short of his career-high points total. “As long as we’re all being mature, we’re going to keep winning.”
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 38 points for the Nets, who dropped to 7-3 in home openers since moving from New Jersey in 2012.
Durant came out swinging, making his first five shots of the game. He shot 17 of 24 overall from the floor but it wasn’t enough to lead his team to the win.
The Hornets also beat the Indiana Pacers and Cleveland Cavaliers by using strong second-half performances.
Bridges shot nine of 16 from the floor and had 12 rebounds.
LaMelo Ball scored 18 points while Ish Smith scored 11 of his 15 in the fourth quarter for the Hornets, who shot 53 per cent from the field in the second half. Cody Martin chipped in 12.
James Harden added 15 points for the Nets, who missed 26 of 35 three-point attempts. Harden made just two of eight from beyond the arc.
There was a minor kerfuffle outside the stadium before the game when a group of anti-vaccine protesters, carrying signs and waving flags, pushed past some barriers and got to the front door of the Barclays arena before being confronted by security.
The protesters chanted “No vaccine mandate” and “Stand with Kyrie”. Nets player Kyrie Irving has garnered attention for his anti-vaccine stance which is keeping him out of Nets home games in the state of New York.
“Barclays Centre briefly closed its doors today in order to clear protestors from the main doors on the plaza and ensure guests could safely enter the arena,” a Barclays Centre spokesperson said in a statement.
“Only ticketed guests were able to enter the building and the game proceeded according to schedule.”