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Timberwolves at Nets, Final Score: Minnesota's late game efforts sink Brooklyn, 98-91

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Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN -- Entering Wednesday, the Brooklyn Nets were carrying their first win streak of the season. You heard correct -- a two game win streak to be exact prior to their matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The Nets were feeling good with their big man Brook Lopez making his second start since his official return Monday night. Still, Brooklyn was in for a tough battle with the young and athletic Minnesota players, most notably, the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, Andrew Wiggins.

The athleticism of the Timberwolves appeared to be too much for Brooklyn as they went on to lose, 98-91. The game came down to the wire, but the Nets' inability to execute down the stretch ultimately doomed their chances. The Nets shot 44% from the field, but were out-rebounded 51-42, which led to 16 second-chance points for Minnesota. The Wolves were led by Kevin Martin, who went off for 26 points and seven rebounds on 8-of-20 shooting.

Deron Williams continued to play at a high level, leading the Nets' charge with 19 points, six assists, two rebounds and one block on 8-15 shooting. He played 39 minutes on the night. Joe Johnson led all Nets' scorers with 22 points, three assists and two rebounds on 9-of-16 shooting, including the Nets final 12 points. Jarrett Jack also stepped up on the offensive side, scoring 14 points, eight coming in the fourth quarter as he and Johnson tried to save the Nets.

On a negative note, Brook Lopez scored 10 points on a poor 5-of-14 shooting, along with Kevin Garnett who shot a dreadful 1-of-7 from the field, but did grab 11 boards.

The Nets locker room was silent after the game. They were clearly shaken up by the loss, but Brook Lopez was particularly upset with himself.

There was plenty of evidence that the team -- including ownership and staff -- took this one hard.

"The team played hard. We shot ourselves in the foot multiples times," said Lopez, employing an odd metaphor. "I picked up the double foul, I didn't pick up my defensive responsibilities down the line. I'm just very disappointed in myself tonight."

When asked about how this will help going forward, Lopez responded, "it's definitely motivation. I know this wasn't the player I am, so fortunately there's another game and it's early in the season. We got a game in two days, and it'll be different."

Hollins had a similar if different take.

"Well, the guy whipped [Brook]," Hollins said of Pekovic. "I mean, it happens. You’ve got to give Pekovic credit. He was a man in there, and I’m always saying there’s always a badder man than you in the prison, and you’ve got to do it every night. Pek won tonight."

That next game Lopez referred to is against the New York Knicks, just in case anyone was wondering.

Quarter by quarter summary:

It didn't take very long for the Nets to look out of sync in the first quarter. Within the first six minutes, the Nets found themselves in a 17-2 hole with Brook Lopez looking extremely disheveled. Lopez finished the points with a poor 3-10 shooting from the field. However, it was just a matter of missing open shots, and the Nets were eventually able to work there way back into the game. They finished the quarter on a 19-7 run, 11-3 in the last three minutes, and trailed 24-21. They shot 38% from the field, but held Minnesota to 38% as well. Andrew Wiggins, the first overall pick in the 2014 NBA Draft, was off to a hot start with seven early points.

The script in this game was a little different in Brooklyn's favor during the second quarter, with Deron Williams being the main reason. Williams facilitated the offense at a high level and helped the Nets recapture the lead after seven points late in the first half. The Nets point guard finished the half leading all scorers with 12 points on 5-6 shooting.

The Nets as a whole finished the half having outscored the Timberwolves 27-23, while shooting 46% from the field. Defensively, the Nets held the Wolves to a poor 38% from the field, but trailed in the rebound category 26-19. Not a great half, but not too bad either.

Score at the half: Nets 48, Timberwolves 47.

The third quarter continued at a consistent, back and forth pace with the Nets unable to take much control. Andrew Wiggins and Kevin Martin continued to assert themselves offensively, combining for 15 points in the quarter and a combined 34 on the night. These two were the main advantages for Minnesota, while Brook Lopez and Kevin Garnett continued to struggle offensively, finishing the third with a combined 6-20 shooting. Deron Williams appeared to be the only legitimate scoring threat for Brooklyn with 16 points on 7-9 shooting.

Along with the lack of offensive production from Brooklyn, they also turned the ball over 15 times compared to the Wolves' eight turnovers. The Wolves also led the Nets in the rebound category 39-31, thus leading to the 14 second chance points for Minnesota. The Nets failed to reach 20 points in the quarter and trailed, 70-66 heading into the fourth.

Then, the fourth quarter came around, and well, Jarrett Jack happened.

While the Nets failed to gain control of the game, Jarrett Jack scored eight points in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, jolting the Nets on a 14-4 run. Following that, they found their biggest lead of the game at six, with all the momentum on their side.

Jack would finish the game with 14 points in 24 minutes.

However, the Timberwolves stayed afloat with Brooklyn. Nikola Pekovic was displaying his toughness down low, notching a stat line of 11 points and 11 rebounds with 3:30 remaining. He gave the Nets matchup problems on both sides of the ball, and helped his team cut the deficit to two.

With the score tied at 91 apiece with one minute remaining, the Nets had to execute late if they wanted any chance at a victory. But, Nikola Pekovic made that job much more difficult for Brooklyn as he nailed an and-one with 48 seconds left to put the Wolves up three. On the following Nets possession, they turned the ball over then allowed a Thaddeus Young floater in the lane. The score was 96-91 with 27 seconds, Brooklyn ball.

Same situation with the next possession: the Nets offense failed to score from that point on, and this game was over. To be exact, the Nets were held scoreless for the last 1:28.

Final score: Timberwolves 98, Nets 91.

The Brooklyn Nets will go up against their crosstown rivals in the New York Knicks, Friday at 7:30 PM.

For more on the Minnesota Timberwolves, check them out at Canis Hoopus.