The Brooklyn Nets lost their second game of the season to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night, 107-96.
The Nets put on a stellar performance going into halftime with a 62-47 lead. Brooklyn shot 61.5 percent from 3-point range and 59.5 percent from the field in the first half.
The Wolves trailed in the second half until Nikola Pekovic put Minnesota ahead with more than four and a half minutes remaining. In the fourth quarter, the Nets utterly collapsed, posting only 10 total points. The game was put out of reach for the Nets by a three-pointer by Chase Budinger with 38 seconds left in regulation, making it 103-96. The game was the fourth-biggest comeback in T-Wolves franchise history.
The Nets had many issues coming down the stretch against Minnesota that included problems off the bench, a lack of effort, and possible fatigue.
“I just think for our team, losses like this have to really sting more than they ever have in the past, because losses like this can come back to bite you later in the year,” said head coach Avery Johnson. “So we can’t afford to lose at home. We’re trying to build a home-court advantage, we’re trying to get us a rhythm here at home, some momentum. So this was one that was definitely a winnable game.”
Nets point Deron Williams, who had 18 points and 13 assists in the loss, felt the team needs to show improvement in work ethic going forward. “I think we’ll see how we respond tomorrow,” he said. “I think more important (is) how we come out in practice. If you come out lackadaisical and not ready to work in practice, then it probably didn’t mean any much to you. If we come out ready to work, we’ll know that we didn’t perform the way we should, things didn’t go the right way and we want to correct those things.”
Attendance was also somewhat of a disappointment on Monday, which reached 14,017 (down from the sellout crowd of 17,732 at the Nets home opener against the Toronto Raptors).
Although the Nets lost this game in a devastating fashion, all is not lost. Brooklyn was without Gerald Wallace, their starting forward, after he sprained his left ankle in the win over the Raptors on Saturday. With Wallace back in the lineup, the Nets should be able to find a way to beat middle of the pack conference teams like Minnesota as the season goes on.