Wednesday, January 23, 2013
W2W4: Nets at Timberwolves
By Mike Mazzeo
The Brooklyn Nets are up north and will try to extend their winning streak to three when they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.; here's what we'll be watching for:
THE SKINNY: The Nets (25-16) have lost eight straight in Minnesota, but come in having won 11 of 13 under interim coach P.J. Carlesimo. The Timberwolves (17-21) will be without star big man Kevin Love, who has a broken right hand. Minnesota is 3-7 in its last 10 games.
HALFWAY HOME: Brook Lopez will find out Thursday night if he makes his first All-Star team. Since Carlesimo took over, the 24-year-old center is averaging 20.1 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.7 blocks on 54.5 percent shooting. Lopez ranks fifth in the NBA in PER. The Timberwolves will be without Lopez's usual counterpart, bruiser Nikola Pekovic, due to a right thigh contusion. Alexey Shved (sprained left ankle) is doubtful.
LAST TIME OUT: Brooklyn blew a 22-point lead and lost to Minnesota 107-96 at Barclays Center on Nov. 5. Deron Williams (13 assists) and Joe Johnson combined for 37 points. Pekovic had 21 points and seven rebounds for the Timberwolves. The Nets made 13 3-pointers in that game.
In Monday's huge victory over the Knicks, Williams dished out 12 assists and Johnson scored 25 points, including the game-winning jumper with 22.3 seconds left.