Pierce, Nets win 13th straight at home, top Wolves

Published on NewsOK Modified: March 30, 2014 at 10:45 pm •  Published: March 30, 2014
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NEW YORK (AP) — They have gone from disappointment to dominant, a team that was booed on its home floor and now rarely loses there.

And pretty soon, the Brooklyn Nets will also be a playoff team.

Pierce scored 22 points after another sensational start, and the Nets moved to the brink of a postseason spot by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 on Sunday for their franchise record-tying 13th straight home victory.

"First part of the season was rough on us with injuries and everything that we went through, and it feels good," guard Deron Williams said. "It feels good to be able to turn it around."

Pierce scored 16 in the first quarter, two nights after putting up 17 in the period, and didn't miss a shot in either. He couldn't keep it going after asking for a rest so he would stay fresh to defend Kevin Love, but the Nets had to plenty more to pull away.

Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets, who were 10-21 when they reached the new year, but will clinch a playoff spot with either another win or a loss by the New York Knicks.

A postseason berth was viewed as a sure thing when the Nets acquired Pierce and Kevin Garnett while assembling a team that would cost more than $180 million, but they struggled early and then lost leading scorer Brook Lopez to a season-ending foot injury.

"I think a lot of teams with bad character, bad leadership in the locker room would've laid down a long time ago. Probably by Christmas would've been making summer plans," Pierce said. "But not this group."

Andray Blatche had 14 points and three players finished with 13 for the Nets.

Brooklyn equaled the longest home winning streak in the NBA this season and the best in the history of the franchise, done twice in 2002 when the Nets were still based in New Jersey. They have won 20 of their last 22 games at Barclays Center.

Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin each scored 21 for the Timberwolves, who had won two in row and were coming off the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, when they scored a franchise-record 143 points in a rout of the Lakers on Friday. But they had only 17 in the fourth quarter of this one as Brooklyn surged to the finish.

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