The shorthanded Timberwolves are climbing an uphill battle the way it is. They don't need additional hurdles to clear. That is exactly what they got Wednesday night in their 91-83 loss to Brooklyn.
C.J. Watson torched the team for nine points in the final quarter taking advantage of a mismatch against J.J. Barea after the Wolves had cut the deficit to two. Barea picked up five fouls in four and a half minutes and to make matters worse, tried to force the action on the offensive end of the floor. It was the combination that the Nets continued to attack Barea and that the Wolves guard let the non-calls get in his head.
"That's the first time in my life," Barea said about the fouls in a short amount of time. "I was doing the same thing they were doing to me on the other side. I just wasn't getting the calls."
The team battled back after falling behind 14-2 to start the game. Newly signed forward Chris Johnson led the team with 10 first half points and finished with 12 points, six rebounds and three blocks.
"Chris has been great," said interim head coach Terry Porter. "He had two or three blocks tonight right at the rim and that's something we didn't have a presence before, but also his ability to run the floor and get some alley-oops. Just his activity is good to have. He's helped us a lot."
Andrei Kirilenko led the team with 15 points while Dante Cunningham scored 14, Luke Ridnour chipped in 13 and Barea added 11 in the loss.
The Wolves fell to 11-7 at home this season and lost to the Nets for the first time in nine games at Target Center. The Nets have won 12 of 14 games since veteran coach P.J. Carlesimo took over as interim head coach.
Center Brook Lopez led the way for the Nets with 22 points. Joe Johnson and Deron Williams each added 18.
The Wolves hit the road and will face Washington and Charlotte Friday and Saturday nights.