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It was going to be the first time Courtney Lee and Devin Harris teamed together in the Nets' backcourt in a game - the first NBA game ever at Prudential Center in Newark, no less. So what if it was preseason?

And that was why the Nets were especially cautious with Harris, who strained his right groin after 15:28 of the first half during the Nets' 91-88 loss to the Celtics.

The Nets also went the second half without starting power forward Yi Jianlian, who strained his right shoulder.

"Same sort of situation with the ankle. It's not really severe. It's a slight strain," said Harris who had sat all of Sunday's game in Boston with a twisted right ankle.

"Doctors want to take precaution. We'll re-evaluate tomorrow. I'll probably be back, hopefully by the weekend."

Harris said he wasn't certain how the injury occurred, only that he "felt a little tightness," and that the decision was made to sit him.

All in all, not a good night for the Nets , who also lost Yi after 15:27 - "I don't know how it happened," said coach Lawrence Frank about Yi.

The Nets fell to 0-4 and blew a 14-point lead along the way. They scored just 28 points in the second half after holding a 60-47 halftime lead.

Well, at least Lee had a significant game debut. He scored 21 points - but was blocked by Glen "Big Baby" Davis with :24 left and the Nets down two. On the ensuing play, Chris Douglas-Roberts was called for an offensive foul.

"He made a great play," Lee said of Davis. "I didn't know he could get up that high with his big self."

Well, now you know.

And Lee is getting to know a lot these days as he learns the Nets and the Nets learn about him. He and Harris already have a bond of sorts.

Lee came from a team that played in the NBA finals, Orlando, where he had an important, but hardly a leading part in the offense. All Harris had to do to see the similarity of Lee coming to New Jersey as part of the deal for a future Hall of Famer, Vince Carter, was recall his days on the Dallas powerhouse before he was traded for a future Hall of Famer, Jason Kidd.

"He was a system kind of guy. And it's his challenge [to] re-invent himself here and really do the things people didn't know he could do," Harris said of Lee.

"Like people didn't know I could score like I could score when I got here, but obviously I was a system guy in Dallas and that wasn't my role. But here he can sort of re-invent himself and re-define his role."

Lee sees the opportunity to do just that with the Nets , who want a definite up-tempo pace to their offense, something they hoped to see last night - for more than almost a half, although Frank liked what he saw: "They played off each other really well," he said.

"I like the system. He [Frank] likes to get up and down, play a fast-paced game," said Lee. "We want to get the ball past halfcourt in less than 2.5 seconds. That means the guards and the bigs have to get out run. That's the way I like to play, get up and down."

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 15, 2009


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