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Nets' 35-year run in N.J. will end tonight

NEWARK, N.J. — For the past 45 years, Herb Turetzky has had the best seat in the house to watch the Nets play basketball.

It was front row, center court. between the benches, every night.

Turetzky, the team's official scorer, has seen the Nets' glory days of Julius Erving and the ABA in the opening decade mostly on Long Island to the team's sometimes laughable struggles in NBA over the last 35 years in New Jersey, whether it be Piscataway, East Rutherford or the team's current home at the Prudential Center in Newark.

The New Jersey chapter will end for all practical purposes Monday night against the Philadelphia 76ers. It will be the Nets' final home game before a move next season to Brooklyn and the new Barclays Center.

The official close to the season will be on Thursday night in Toronto, and of course it will cap a fifth straight non-playoff season.

"If there is one word that describes this team's time in New Jersey, it's misfortune," said Turetzky, who will work his 1,177 consecutive home game tonight. "Every time we seemed to be building something to get up to respectability some crisis came up."

The problems ranged from money, to drugs, an automobile-related death and injuries that would knock the Nets off track for extended periods that sometimes lasted close to decade.

"It's hard to believe that basketball won't be in New Jersey anymore," said former Nets and current Pistons coach Lawrence Frank.