Wolves rally from 22 down to stun Nets
By Brian Mahoney, AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK -- Rookie guard Alexey Shved and Chase Budinger led a furious rally from 22 points down, and the Minnesota Timberwolves came back to stun the Brooklyn Nets 107-96 on Monday night.
Shved made the go-ahead basket with 2:35 remaining and had a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter after going scoreless for the first three. The Timberwolves scored the final 11 points in an impressive rally on the second night of back-to-back games. Seemingly out of the game early in the second half, they overwhelmed the Nets in the fourth quarter with a brilliant effort from their bench.
Shved, a point guard from Russia, hit from in the lane, then Nikola Pekovic scored inside and Budinger made a 3-pointer with 38 seconds to go, making it 103-96 in front of a stunned crowd in the second game at the new Barclays Center.
The Nets hadn't trailed in the second half of their first two games until Pekovic put Minnesota ahead with a little more than 4½ minutes remaining.
The Nets had all kinds of problems down the stretch in their second game at their $1 billion arena, including the statistics monitors going down. Instead of being 2-0, they will break out their black road uniforms for the first time in the regular season with a 1-1 mark and a tough trip, visiting Miami on Wednesday and unbeaten Orlando on Friday.
Brooklyn was without starting forward Gerald Wallace after he sprained his left ankle late in Saturday's win over Toronto.
The Wolves have much more severe injury problems, with Kevin Love still recovering from a broken right hand and Ricky Rubio remaining out indefinitely after tearing up his left knee last March. They did get back JJ Barea after he left in the second quarter of Sunday's loss with concussion-like symptoms, and he was on the floor for the fourth-quarter flurry.
Brooklyn scored 31 points in each of the first two quarters, shooting 59.5 percent from the field and 61.5 percent from 3-point range in the first half. Joe Johnson made two of the Nets' eight 3-pointers, including one that gave them their biggest lead of the half at 59-43. The lead was 15 at the break and it seemed the Nets would have an easy night against a Minnesota team that lost by 19 in Toronto a night earlier.
Deron Williams' 3-pointer with 9:36 left in the third made it a 22-point game, but the Wolves trimmed that deficit in half by the end of the period, then dominated the first six minutes of the fourth.
Budinger and Shved made consecutive 3-pointers before Dante Cunningham's basket capped a run of eight straight points to tie it at 92 with 6:29 to play. The Wolves regained the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Pekovic beat his man down the floor and took a long pass for a layup that made it 96-94 with a little over 4½ minutes to play.
NOTES: Barea, along with Cleveland's Donald Sloan, got one of the NBA's first two warnings for flopping. The league determined Barea was acting to fool the referee into calling a foul when he threw his upper body backward after contact while defending Sacramento's Jimmer Fredette in the fourth quarter on Friday. ... Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov said hello to fellow Russian Andrei Kirilenko when they bumped into each other earlier Monday at the arena. Prokhorov is heading back home after being in Brooklyn for the first two games.