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Brooklyn’s late comeback falls short against Minnesota, 112-102

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NBA: Minnesota Timberwolves at Brooklyn Nets Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — The last time the Nets faced the Timberwolves, a crisis landed on the floor with Caris LeVert. They had a legitimate excuse for the loss.

But not on Friday. Not this time.

The Nets came out lethargic, as to be expected for a noon game the day after Thanksgiving. But no excuses, as they always say. They trailed by six at half, but the Timberwolves out-scored the Nets 35-23 in the third quarter and took an 18-point lead.

The Nets made a small comeback behind Spencer Dinwiddie’s lead and cut it down to four and possession. Dinwiddie was in an iso situation as Karl-Anthony Towns covered him with five fouls. Instead of driving to the hole, he forced up a long three that clanked off the rim. Not good.

The Wolves answered with an 8-2 run to finish out as they defeated the Nets, 112-102. The Nets have lost two straight and stand at 8-11 on the season. This was the first of 13 games they’ll play at home in a 17-game span.

“We weren’t focused like we normally are,” said head coach Kenny Atkinson. “We’re professionals. They can play the game at three in the morning. We have to be ready, noon game – we had issues with that last year too. Maybe it’s part of being a young team, learning how to play after travel like that and then a noon game.”

D’Angelo Russell was just 2-of-10 from the field, 0-of-6 from three with four turnovers. He never really had “it.” Meanwhile, Dinwiddie went off for 18 points and eight assists, followed up by Joe Harris (18 points) and DeMarre Carroll (13 points).

The Nets shot 14-of-45 from three (31 percent) and forced just seven turnovers.

For Minnesota, Derrick Rose led the way with 25 points, while Towns finished with 21 points and nine rebounds. The Timberwolves won for the fourth time in six games since trading Jimmy Butler to Philadelphia 11 days ago. It was also their first road win of the season. They’re now 1-9.

“They really just came out more aggressive than us,” Jarrett Allen said after the game. “You could tell we started off slow and we didn’t start the third quarter how we wanted to. We started picking it up in the fourth, but we gotta start the game like we started the fourth.”

Why the slow start?

“Not being focused, really. We came into the game a little lackadaisical. Can’t blame it on 12pm games,” Allen said in the short post-game interview.

ALLEN CRABBE OVER THE PAST FIVE

Allen Crabbe has received a lot of flack for his poor play this season (yes that includes us). He’s shooting 8.2 points on 30.8 percent shooting on the year, but he’s shooting 44 percent from three since Caris LeVert got injured. Credit where credit is due. The Nets need him.

“I know what I’m capable of,” said Crabbe. “I know what I can do. Me going through those struggles had nothing to do with skill set or anything like that. I just felt like, thinking too much, pressing too much. I wasn’t letting the game come to me. I wasn’t letting it flow. Last couple games I felt like I’ve been getting a rhythm.”

NETS BITS ENTERING TONIGHT (NETS PR)

  • Jarrett Allen in ninth in the league in blocks per game (1.8) and 10th in field goal percentage (58%).
  • Joe Harris is 13th in the league in 3-point field goal percentage (45.4%) and 17th in 3-point field goals made (44).
  • Ed Davis is second in the league in offensive rebound percentage (16.1 percent).
  • Spencer Dinwiddie leads the league in in assists off the bench (92, 4.8 per game).
  • D’Angelo Russell is tied for ninth in the league in 3-point field goals made (48).

DINWIDDIE’S KICKS

For another perspective, head on over to Canis Hoopus, our Timberwolves sister site on SB Nation.

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The Nets will face the 76ers on Sunday at 6:00 p.m.