At the Barclays Centre, the Nets went down 125-116 to the Indiana Pacers to go 1-5 for the season. It was the Nets’ fourth straight loss and one coach Steve Nash called a “disaster.”
The night started ominously when, in the first quarter, Watanabe accidentally scored for the Pacers. When Pacers’ Andrew Nembhard went to shoot, the ball ricocheted off the rim and onto the backboard, James Johnson and Goga Bitadze of the Pacers went for the rebound, as did Watanabe, who got to the ball first and dunked it in.
The comical two-pointer cut the Nets’ lead before the Pacers tied at the end of the first quarter.
As the Pacers pulled away from the struggling Nets, rookie Bennedict Mathurin scored a career-high 32 points in a team record 23 three-pointers.
Elsewhere, Jalen McDaniels scored five key points in overtime as Charlotte Hornets recovered after blowing a fourth-quarter lead to beat visiting Golden State Warriors 120-113.
Domantas Sabonis scored all 18 of his points in the first half and Sacramento Kings stunned visiting Miami Heat 119-113 for coach Mike Brown’s first win at his new home.
Joel Embiid scored 25 points to lead six players in double figures and James Harden registered a double-double of 15 points and 11 assists to boost visiting Philadelphia 76ers to a 114-109 victory against Chicago Bulls.
And Milwaukee remained the NBA’s only unbeaten team with a 123-115 win over Atlanta. Jrue Holiday and Giannis Antetokounmpo both scored 34 points.