Rapid Reaction: Cavs 98, Nets 94

CLEVELAND -- The Brooklyn Nets’ journey, as Kevin Garnett calls it, began with a season-opening 98-94 loss at Cleveland.

What it means: After all the hype following the trade that landed Garnett and Paul Pierce, the Nets opened the season slowly. And it shouldn’t be a surprise since this is pretty much their first game together.

Deron Williams (ankle) played in just one preseason game, and the starting five will need time to mesh. And the Nets played without coach Jason Kidd, who is serving a two-game suspension. So it might take a while for the Nets to develop chemistry and get going.

Defensively, the Nets held star point guard Kyrie Irving to 4-for-16 shooting, 15 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds.

KG and Pierce: Pierce got off to a hot start, scoring the team’s first six points before finishing with 17 points in his Nets debut. But he missed a long jumper that would have tied the game with under 28 seconds left.

Garnett had eight points and 10 rebounds in his first Nets game. Garnett played a total of 26 minutes while Pierce logged 30.

D-Will: Williams missed four of his first five shots and was a bit rusty at the beginning. He finished with seven points but had nine assists in 22 minutes after missing the majority of the preseason with an ankle injury. Williams will only get better as he learns his new cast.

Big Brook: Pierce might have gotten things started, but it didn’t take long for the ball to find its way to Brook Lopez. Lopez made six of his first 10 shots and had 15 of his 21 points in the first half. Lopez air-balled a long jumper and later missed a layup with 2:32 left in the fourth. But he made up for it with a catch and layin that tied the game at 91 with 1:04 left. The Nets are going to make every effort to get Lopez established in games this season.

JET soars: The other former Celtic making his Nets debut was Jason Terry. Terry came off the bench and hit two key back-to-back 3-pointers in the fourth that helped the Nets erase a nine-point deficit and tie the game at 82 with 7:35 left.

No Kidd: Serving the first of a two-game suspension, Kidd said he was going to watch the game from the team hotel. He designated assistant coach Joe Prunty as the head coach for the game.

Prunty explained that the decision was made in part to keep assistants like Lawrence Frank and John Welch in their roles for the season.

What’s next: The Nets return to Brooklyn for their home opener against the defending champion Miami Heat.