18. Brook Lopez at Boston Celtics, April 11, 2017
The Brooklyn Nets were on their way to the worst record in the NBA. The Boston Celtics were on their way to the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
These two teams were headed in diametrically opposed directions when they met at TD Garden in Boston on April 10, 2017. The 20-60 Nets were playing out the string, the 51-29 Celtics were prepping for the playoffs.
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The Celtics jumped out to an early lead — they led the entire way — by closing the first period on an 8-2 run to go up 28-13 after just 12 minutes en route to a 114-105 win.
Brook Lopez had one of his typical solid nights, even in defeat, finishing with 25 points and seven rebounds in 34 minutes of work. It wasn’t his best night as a Net, but it was his most significant on many levels.
WIth an eight-foot jumper with 4:01 remaining in the game, Lopez passed Buck Williams as the franchise’s all-time leading scorer with 10,442 points. Lopez added a layup a couple of minutes later to run the total to 10,444.
Lopez sat out Brooklyn’s season finale at Chicago two nights later and was traded to the Los Angeles Lakers on draft night two months later, making this record-setting night in Boston his final appearance in a Nets uniform, ending a nine-year run that included an All-Star appeearance in 2013.
He was the 10th overall pick by the Nets, then still in New Jersey, in 2008 and battled through a couple of lost seasons due to a broken foot to become the leading scorer in franchise annals.
Lopez’s final season with Brooklyn saw him post 20.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.7 blocks in 29.6 minutes per game, shooting .474/.346/.810 as he added the 3-point shot to his bag of tricks for the first time in his career.