Wednesday, March 29, 2023
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NBA Preview: Brooklyn Nets (37-29) at Minnesota Timberwolves (34-33)

The Brooklyn Nets overcame a significant deficit for the second time in less than a week to win a close game against an elite opponent in the Eastern Conference.

However, the Nets chose to play the rest card in Milwaukee on Thursday night, resulting in a 118-113 defeat, in contrast to their victory over Boston the week before.

However, when the Nets host the Minnesota Timberwolves, who are themselves locked in a dogfight to remain in the top six of the Western Conference, the players who either sat out or played limited minutes against the Bucks are expected to be available.

Beginning with the Nets’ 115-105 victory over the Celtics on Friday, when they overcame a 28-point deficit, Brooklyn has now won three consecutive games, all by double digits. The Nets chose to rest Nic Claxton, Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Johnson, and Royce O’Neale after their impressive victories over the Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets. They also limited Mikal Bridges and Dorian Finney-Smith to no more than 12 minutes in their 118-113 loss at Milwaukee.

O’Neale missed time with a sore left knee, Johnson missed time with a sore right knee, and Claxton missed time with a sprained right thumb. After spending at least 35 minutes in four of his previous six games, Spencer Dinwiddie was merely rested.

A strong performance from their reserves on Thursday nearly restored the Nets’ 22-point lead. Brooklyn’s second unit scored 98 points, led by 23 points from Patty Mills and 21 points from Cam Thomas, both of whom came off the bench.

Golden State and Minnesota are tied for the sixth and final guaranteed playoff spot going into Friday’s game. After shooting a season-low 39.5 percent in a 117-94 home loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, the Timberwolves have also had two days off to make up for their mistakes. The Wolves were held under 100 points for the fourth time this season and allowed 49.4% shooting after winning the final three games of their road trip.

In the game against the 76ers, Edwards went 12-of-24 for 32 points, but Minnesota’s other four starters went 7-of-25. Rudy Gobert, who had scored 51 points during Minnesota’s three-game winning streak, was one of those players who was held to six points.

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