The New Jersey Nets seem to have found new ways to lose games over the course of their recent nine game losing streak. Last night they lost in stunning fashion to the 8-35 Minnesota Timberwolves, 98-95.
The Timberwolves secured a career-high 40 points from the young star Al Jefferson. Jefferson was the main component in the Kevin Garnett trade to the Celtics, and he has certainly demonstrated real progress this season.
Along with his 40 points last night, Jefferson also grabbed 19 rebounds, blocked two shots and was 14-17 from the free throw line—the last two of which sealed victory for the Wolves. Jefferson is having an All-Star caliber season on a rebuilding Minnesota team averaging 21 points and 12 rebounds a game.
If players such as Jefferson continue to develop at this rate, the young Timberwolves team could pose a threat as a post-season spoiler.
Rashad McCants had 16 points and was 4-6 from behind the arch. Sebastian Telfair added 12 points and four assists while Ryan Gomes had nine, including a key three-pointer to give the T-Wolves the lead with under a minute in the game. Corey Brewer and Gerald Green each added eight points off of the bench.
The Nets got the usual 35 from Richard Jefferson and 25 from Vince Carter but managed only 12 points from their bench. Jason Kidd had 11 points but only had four assists along with eight rebounds. Sean Williams did manage to grab 12 rebounds and net eight points, while Josh Boone had eight rebounds and only four points.
Well, at least the Nets didn't make it another 100-point game defensively, but they did give up 98.
Once again they blew a 15-point lead late in the game. They were up 80-65 with 10 minutes to go but managed to give up 33 points! This was a game in which the Nets shot a better field goal percentage and out-rebounded the Wolves but had two more turnovers and gave up nine three-pointers.
The stat that ended up hurting them the most was their free throws. The Nets were 26-39 for 66 percent, while the T-Wolves were 23-26 for 88 percent and iced the game with late free throws from Al Jefferson.
Both teams are in action again tomorrow night, the 29th of January. The Nets will host the Milwaukee Bucks who they beat 97-95 back in December. The Timberwolves will play in Chicago for back-to-back home games against the disappointing Bulls.