Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 11/5/12
The Minnesota Timberwolves erased a 22-point third-quarter deficit and rolled to a 107-96 win over the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Nikola Pekovic paced the Timberwolves with 21 points, and Chase Budinger and Andrei Kirilenko each scored 16 points. Minnesota outscored Brooklyn 32-10 in the fourth quarter, ending the night by scoring the final 11 points. Timberwolves rookie Alexey Shved hit two 3-pointers in the last quarter, during which he had all 10 of his points. Brooklyn got 18 points and 13 assists from Deron Williams, plus 17 points from Joe Johnson. Williams' consecutive 3-pointer early in the third quarter gave the Nets a 71-49 lead. However, the Nets went cold, managing just one field goal, scored by Johnson, in the last half of the fourth quarter. The Nets took an early lead in the first quarter thanks to two 3-pointers from Keith Bogans, who was inserted into the starting lineup after Gerald Wallace was made inactive due to a sprained ankle. Bogans, who played just 28 seconds in the Nets' season-opening win over the Toronto Raptors, was left unguarded both times and calmly canned both jumpers. Pekovic was having his way down low early on, scoring eight points in the first six minutes, all from inside the paint. Pekovic has had some of his best NBA moments against the Nets, including a 27-point explosion last February. Brook Lopez had a fine first quarter, scoring nine consecutive points during one stretch that enabled Brooklyn to grab the lead for good. Lopez hit two shots off the glass and had a monstrous dunk in the lane, giving the Nets a 22-19 lead that they never relinquished before halftime. Andray Blatche had a strong move down low that gave Brooklyn a 31-27 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Nets continued to put the pressure on the Timberwolves, who appeared exhausted after losing to the Raptors 105-85 Sunday night. Brooklyn's MarShon Brooks came off the bench to supply six points in the second quarter. Rookie Tyshawn Taylor, the Nets' second-round draft pick out of Kansas, made his first shot as a pro, hitting a running floater off the glass to give Brooklyn a 42-30 lead. Nets coach Avery Johnson obviously liked the up-tempo style, and he instructed his team to keep pushing the ball and launching shots. Joe Johnson hit a running jumper, then nailed a wide-open 3-pointer to give the Nets a 59-43 lead with 1:15 remaining before intermission. Then newcomer Mirza Teletovic also hit his first NBA shot, a dagger 3-pointer from straight away that gave the Nets their biggest lead of the half, a 62-47 advantage at the break. NOTES: The Nets, who led the NBA last season in minutes lost due to injuries, already have a casualty two games into the season. Small forward Wallace sprained his ankle in the closing minutes of Brooklyn's season opener, and he did not dress Monday. Wallace's status remains day-to-day. ... The Timberwolves were short-handed, missing two of their top players, including Team USA Olympian Kevin Love, who is recovering from a broken hand. Flashy point guard Ricky Rubio is still rehabilitating a torn ACL and MCL he suffered last March 9. Love will miss six to eight weeks, while there is no timetable for Rubio's return.
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