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Nets go down to third straight defeat, losing to T’Wolves, 78-69, in Vegas

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NBA: Summer League-Brooklyn Nets at Minnesota Timberwolves Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Despite Jarrett Allen’s debut and another strong performance from Yuta Watanabe, the Nets Summer League entry went down to its third straight defeat, 78-69, Monday night in Las Vegas.

The game was the Summer League debut for Jarrett Allen who had 12 boards and five blocks to go with eight points in 26 minutes. Allen shot 3-of-6 overall. Before the game, Allen told Greg Logan that he’s hoping for an expanded role in Brooklyn.

“I’m trying to be a leader and teach the first-year people how to be a pro,” Allen said. “I’m trying to be able to come out of my comfort zone. This is like the perfect place to practice to be a leader so I’m able to bring that skill back to the Brooklyn Nets.”

Afterwards, he said he was generally pleased with his performance.

“It was good, it was fun,” said Allen, who missed Summer League last year with a hip injury. “It was literally my first Summer League game. I came back, and it was a good comeback.”

Yuta Watanabe, the 6’9” swingman out of George Washington had another strong game for Brooklyn, finishing with 14 points on 4-of-6 shooting from deep. He grabbed four rebounds and blocked two shots. The Nets would like to groom the Japan native for a 3-and-D role and he did nothing to hurt his chances.

“He’s making me more comfortable, the coaching staff, for sure,” coach Jacque Vaughn said. “He’s probably been our most consistent player, practices and games included. So I give him credit for that.”

“Since I was little kid, tiny, I was dreaming this,” said Watanabe, 23, who would be the second Japanese player in the NBA if he makes the Nets. “I’m thinking I don’t want to be an NBA player because I’m Japanese. I want to be an NBA player because I’m a basketball player like everyone else.”

Shawn Dawson, after scoring three points against the Thunder, came back and scored 14 as well, adding three boards and three assists. No other Net was in double figures although Kamari Murphy, who played for Long Island last year, finished with eight points and 10 rebounds. Theo Pinson and Milton Doyle combined for six points.

The Nets went down early, then ran off 16 straight points to take a two-point lead just before halftime. Minnesota, however, started off the third on an 12-0 run and the Nets never took the lead again. The Nets shot 35.2 percent overall and 30.4 percent from three, just slightly worse than the Timberwolves. The big disparity was in turnovers, with the Nets giving the ball away 23 times, 16 of them on Minnesota steals.

The Nets will now go into the playoff portion of the Summer League. Each of the 30 teams are guaranteed five games total. Caris LeVert, who was only supposed to play two games in the Summer League, didn’t play because of what one report called “lingering” injuries. Nor did Rodions Kurucs, whose European buyout is still unsettled. Juan Pablo Vaulet, the Nets 2015 second rounder, has yet to log a minute, out with recurring foot problems.

None are likely to play either.