NBA Game Summary - New Jersey at Minnesota
(Sunday, January 27th)
Final Score: Minnesota 98, New Jersey 95
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - Al Jefferson scored a career-high 40 points, including four crucial free throws in the closing moments, to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves in a 98-95 comeback victory over the New Jersey Nets.
Jefferson also grabbed 19 boards for the Timberwolves, who have won three of their last four contests. Rashad McCants added 16 points, while Sebastian Telfair netted 12 points, as Minnesota closed the game on a 10-0 run.
Richard Jefferson scored 35 points and grabbed seven rebounds for the Nets, who have lost nine in a row. The nine-game skid matches the franchise's longest losing streak since November 10-28, 2004.
Vince Carter poured in 25 points, while Jason Kidd had 11 for the Nets.
A 15-4 run brought Minnesota within striking distance, 84-80, with seven-plus minutes on the clock. Gerald Green hit two three-pointers as the catalyst for the surge and Corey Brewer closed it with two free throws and a jumper.
Moments later, after falling behind 88-80, the T'Wolves again made it a four- point contest with two Brewer foul shots and a Ryan Gomes jumper.
The Nets increased that lead to eight points, 92-84, on two Richard Jefferson shots from the charity stripe and a Carter jumper with 2:32 left. Carter's jumper had the Nets ahead 95-88 with 1:19 left, but the T'Wolves answered back and made it a one-point game with 40 ticks on the clock as McCants and Gomes hit back-to-back threes to finish out the surge.
Carter then missed a jumper from the top of the key with 25 seconds left and the ball rolled out of bounds. Minnesota was awarded possession with 21.5 seconds left in the game.
On the inbound, McCants missed a shot from the top right of the key and Al Jefferson grabbed the rebound. He was fouled, went to the line and hit both shots to give Minnesota a 96-95 advantage with 11.4 seconds to play.
Richard Jefferson received the inbounds pass and drove to the hoop, his shot hit off the back of the rim and caromed out. Al Jefferson grabbed the rebound and was fouled, he connected on both shots to give the T'Wolves a 98-95 lead with 5.8 seconds showing.
Carter bricked a shot off the front of the rim as time expired.
"Anytime you lose it's tough," Kidd said. "We had some tough games on this road trip. We were in control the whole game and at the end we let it get away."
The Nets headed into the second quarter leading 26-22. With just over five minutes to play in the first half, Williams missed a hook shot and Josh Boone was there to dunk the rebound home. The slam sparked an 11-3 New Jersey run that Richard Jefferson capped via a layup with 2:18 to play before the break. The burst gave the Nets a 47-34 advantage.
Minnesota chipped away at New Jersey's lead, but still went into the locker room facing a 48-38 deficit.
Two McCants three-pointers bookended a 12-4 Minnesota run that brought the T'Wolves within four, 56-52, with 7:23 on the clock. Two minutes later, the T'Wolves pulled within two, 61-59, on an Al Jefferson layup.
"We came in here and made some big-time shots," Al Jefferson said. "They kept doubling me, I didn't hit that many field goals, I kept getting offensive rebounds and getting fouled."
However, three Kidd treys, with three Richard Jefferson points sandwiched in, increased New Jersey's lead to 70-62 with 1:46 remaining in the third stanza. Carter hit four free throws and Richard Jefferson two to close out the third quarter, as the teams headed into the fourth with New Jersey leading 74-64.
Two Carter jumpers and a Wright bucket highlighted a 6-1 Nets run to begin the fourth, the burst gave New Jersey an 80-65 lead barely two minutes into the final quarter.
The home team has won five straight meetings, eight of nine and 13 of the last 15 meetings...Minnesota shot 88.5 percent from the free throw line, whereas New Jersey hit only 66.7 from the charity stripe.
01/27 22:24:22 ET