Following two disappointing losses on the road, the Nets redeemed themselves with a 108-97 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers. The win against Cleveland marked Brooklyn's 12th straight win at home, with an overall 24-11 record at the Barclays Center.
Sunday night, the Nets welcomed Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves to Brooklyn. The last matchup between the two teams took place back in November. The Timberwolves defeated the Nets, in what looked to be an effortless battle from Brooklyn, 111-81. Fortunately, that was the 2013 Nets. The 2014 Nets are an entirely different story.
However, behind a balanced offensive attack, the Nets defeated the Timberwolves: 114-99. The win marks the 13th straight win at home for Brooklyn, which ties a franchise high. With a Knicks loss in Golden State, the Nets could officially clinch a playoff spot for the second straight season.
Kevin Garnett missed his 16th straight game with back spasms. Andrei Kirilenko missed his fourth straight game due to an ankle injury.
The game started off with a back and forth pace. Neither team was able to establish any dominance early. The Nets had no problem getting easy baskets, but struggled to defend the Minnesota offense.
For Brooklyn, Paul Pierce had the defensive responsibility of covering Kevin Love, but also stepped up his play on the offensive end --- scoring 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting.
After one quarter, the Nets led the Timberwolves: 30-27.
Unlike the first quarter, the Nets jumped out to an aggressive start to the second. Similar to Friday's game against Cleveland, the Nets second unit took complete advantage of the Timberwolves second unit. It was a 16-7 Brooklyn advantage, when finally Kevin Love and the starters returned to the game.
Despite being up by as much as 12, the Timberwolves fought their way back, cutting the deficit to five to end the half. The score was 59-54, in favor of Brooklyn.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 18 points on 7-of-8 shooting, while Andray Blatche chipped in 10 of his own. For Minnesota, Kevin Martin led the way with 14 points. Kevin Love had 12 points & six rebounds.
Quick first half stats: The Nets bench was stellar yet again. They combined for 24 of the 59 points scored in the first half. Along with six blocks early, the Nets also nabbed six steals to set the tone defensively.
Paul Pierce, who led all scorers in the first half, picked up his fourth foul in the first minute of the third quarter. Minutes later, Deron Williams picked up his fourth foul as well. Both were taken out immediately.
Brooklyn saw their five point halftime lead diminish and eventually turn into a five-point Timberwolves lead, 71-66 at the midway point of the third quarter.
With the early foul trouble from Williams & Pierce, Joe Johnson had to pick up his play, and pick it up he did. Behind Johnson's eight third quarter points, the Nets regained the lead, 85-82. Johnson was headed into the fourth quarter with 16 points, suddenly a major threat for Brooklyn.
The Nets got the start they needed in the fourth quarter. Through the first eight minutes of the quarter, Brooklyn had a 20-9 advantage, 105-93 lead. Alan Anderson's high energy off the bench was crucial to the Nets success, forcing turnovers and being aggressive on the boards. His high energy led to easy baskets and tough defense against the Timberwolves attack.
With two minutes remaining, the Timberwolves unloaded their bench. Game over.
In front of a sold out - Brooklyn crowd, the Nets defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves: 114-99. The win marks the Nets 13th straight victory at home, tying a franchise record.
Paul Pierce led all scorers with 22 points, while Joe Johnson chipped in 19. Mason Plumlee & Shaun Livingston also contributed 13 points apiece.
Deron Williams struggled all game. He shot just 1-9 from the field, finishing with six points and five assists. He was the only starter that didn't finish in double figures. Luckily, the Nets bench contributed 41 points, behind the lead of Andray Blatche & Alan Anderson.
Blatche, who only played 21 minutes, scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds on 7-11 shooting. His play this season could make a case for sixth man of the year.
On the defensive side, the Nets completely shut down Kevin Love. They allowed just 14 points and nine rebounds on 5-14 shooting. Corey Brewer & Kevin Martin led the way for Minnesota with 21 apiece.
Defensively, the Nets finished the game with 13 steals and six blocks proving to be another scrappy battle in Brooklyn's favor.
The Nets can set a franchise record for consecutive home victories this Tuesday, when James Harden and the Houston Rockets visit Brooklyn.
After the game, Love stirred a bit of controversy when he was asked about the Nets.
Kevin Love on the Nets' turning their season around after rough start amidst high expectations: "They're in the East."— Tim Bontemps (@TimBontemps) March 31, 2014
For more on the Timberwolves, check them out at Canis Hoopus.
- Timberwolves at Nets Boxscore - NBA.com
- Game Thread: Brooklyn Nets vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 6:00 PM - NetsDaily
- 2nd Half Game Thread: Timberwolves at Nets - NetsDaily
- Timberwolves vs. Nets: First half (Video) - NBA.com
- Rubio to Brewer (Video) - NBA.com
- Block Party (Video) - NBA.com
- Pierce On Fire Early (Video) - NBA.com
- Post Game Plus: Nets beat Timberwolves (Video) - Nancy Newman - YES Network
- Livingston on win vs. Timberwolves (Video) - YES Network
- Pierce on big Sunday performance (Video) - YES Network
- Kidd on win against Minnesota (Video) - YES Network
- PLAY OF THE NIGHT: Jorge Gutierrez Spin Cycles Ricky Rubio - The Brooklyn Game
- VIDEO: Deron Williams hits half-court shot just after the buzzer - The Brooklyn Game
HIGHLIGHT: Paul Pierce Scores 16 Points In First Quarter - The Brooklyn Game
- Game Info: Armor at Mad Ants - AP
- Nets Thrive on Home Court, Hoping to Do So in Playoffs - Andrew Keh - New York Times
- Nets extend home win streak to 13 by beating Timberwolves - Barbara Barker - Newsday
- Brooklyn Nets win 13th straight at home, beat Minnesota Timberwolves behind Paul Pierce - Stefan Bondy - New York Daily News
- Nets keep Timberwolves' Kevin Love quiet while they continue to win without Kevin Garnett - Mitch Lawrence - New York Daily News
- Nets beat Timberwolves, 114-99, for 13th straight win at Barclays - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets need steady hands - Steve Popper - The Record
- Garnett remains on shelf - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Nets don't impress Kevin Love - Andy Vasquez - The Record
- Resolution rings true for new-look Nets - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Thornton (back) 'day to day' after early exit - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Starting Five: Kevin not in a loving mood - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Final Score: Nets 114, T-Wolves 99 - Jon Presser - SNY Nets
- Nets inch closer to playoff spot with victory over Timberwolves - Larry Fleisher - Metro
- Quick Blowout: Nets 114, Timberwolves 99 (GAME GRADES) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Kirilenko, Garnett targeting return dates - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Nets on cusp of playoff spot after win over Wolves - Jason Schott - Brooklyn Fans
- Nets can catch Raptors with solid week - Gregory Hrinya - Examiner
- Quote of the Day: Kevin Love explains how Nets have turned things around following slow start - Brett Pollakoff - NBC Sports
- Nets flourish in playoff push while Wolves flounder - Jerry Zgoda - Minneapolis Star-Tribune