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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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The Timberwolves were glad Brooklyn got that game in, after its original opener against the Knicks last Thursday was postponed. If not, Minnesota would have been playing Monday against a team it hadn't seen in a regular-season game yet.

"I was worried we were going to be their opening night, which I didn't really want to do," Adelman said before the game. "But we have a pretty good scout and he saw them in the preseason, so we know the players, so just a matter of what they're going to run."

Whatever it was, the Nets ran it well — for three quarters.

Brooklyn scored 31 points in each of the first two, shooting 59.5 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range in the first half. Johnson made two of the Nets' eight 3-pointers, including one that gave them their biggest lead of the half at 59-43. The lead was 15 at the break and it seemed the Nets would have an easy night against a Minnesota team that lost by 19 in Toronto a night earlier.

Williams' 3-pointer with 9:36 left in the third made it a 22-point game, but the Wolves trimmed that deficit in half by the end of the period, then dominated the first 6 minutes of the fourth.

Nets coach Avery Johnson said it looked as if the Nets "kind of ran out of gas" and "lost our way" at the end.

"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," Johnson said. "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."

Budinger and Shved made consecutive 3-pointers before Dante Cunningham's basket capped a run of eight straight points to tie it at 92 with 6:29 to play. The Wolves regained the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Pekovic beat his man down the floor and took a long pass for a layup that made it 96-94 with a little over 4½ minutes to play.

Williams agreed with his coach that the loss stung.

"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."

Notes: Barea, along with Cleveland's Donald Sloan, got one of the NBA's first two warnings for flopping. The league determined Barea was acting to fool the referee into calling a foul when he threw his upper body backward after contact while defending Sacramento's Jimmer Fredette in the fourth quarter on Friday. ... Prokhorov said hello to Kirilenko when they bumped into each other earlier Monday at the arena. Prokhorov was in Brooklyn for the first two games.