Timberwolves rally from 22 down to stun Nets

Associated Press Modified: November 5, 2012 at 11:17 pm •  Published: November 5, 2012
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NEW YORK (AP) — Another celebratory night at Barclays Center for a Russian.

No, not Mikhail Prokhorov.

His Brooklyn Nets were on their way to an easy win and a 2-0 start until rookie Alexey Shved led the Minnesota Timberwolves on a furious rally from a 22-point, second-half deficit to a 107-96 victory on Monday night.

Shved scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter — matching the Nets' total after Minnesota outscored them 32-10. Nikola Pekovic led Minnesota with 21 points.

Prokhorov was scheduled to fly back to Russia after the game, perhaps shaking his head the whole way home.

"For sure this was a very important game for Russia because everybody is watching and everybody wants to know who won this game," said Shved, who helped Russia to its first Olympic men's basketball medal in London, a bronze. "We're happy we won."

Maybe a little surprised, too.

Shved made the go-ahead basket with 2:35 remaining and had a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter after going scoreless for the first three. The Timberwolves scored the final 11 points in an impressive rally on the second night of back-to-back games. Seemingly out of it early in the second half, they overwhelmed the Nets in the fourth quarter with a brilliant effort from their bench.

"We just kept talking about getting tougher down the stretch," Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman said. "We had to get stops in that fourth quarter. We played with a real edge in that fourth quarter and it just turned the whole thing around."

Shved, a point guard who along with Wolves forward Andrei Kirilenko played last season for the CSKA Moscow team that Prokohov once owned, hit from in the lane to make it 98-96. Then Pekovic scored inside and Chase Budinger made a 3-pointer with 38 seconds to go, making it 103-96 in front of a stunned crowd in the second game at the new Barclays Center.

Kirilenko finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Budinger also scored 16, half in the final period.

Joe Johnson scored 19 points and Deron Williams had 18 points and 13 assists for the Nets, who hadn't trailed in the second half of their first two games until Pekovic put Minnesota ahead with a little more than 4½ minutes remaining.

It was the fourth-biggest comeback in Minnesota franchise history, the largest since falling behind Dallas 74-50 before rallying for a 113-110 overtime victory on Jan. 17, 1998.

The Nets had all kinds of problems down the stretch in their second game at their $1 billion arena, including the statistics monitors going down. Instead of being 2-0, they will break out their black road uniforms for the first time in the regular season with a 1-1 mark and a tough trip, visiting Miami on Wednesday and unbeaten Orlando on Friday.

Brooklyn was without starting forward Gerald Wallace after he sprained his left ankle late in Saturday's win over Toronto.

The Wolves have much more severe injury problems, with Kevin Love still recovering from a broken right hand and Ricky Rubio remaining out indefinitely after tearing up his left knee last March. They did get back JJ Barea after he left in the second quarter of Sunday's loss with concussion-like symptoms, and he was on the floor for the fourth-quarter flurry.

It was a disappointing second game in Brooklyn for the Nets. There were plenty of empty seats at the start, perhaps a combination of lingering transportation troubles during the recovery from Superstorm Sandy and a less-than-marquee opponent on a Monday night. But the arena soon filled up well and the announced attendance was 14,017, still far below the sellout of 17,732 the Nets listed for Saturday's 107-100 victory over Toronto.



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