The Nets pulled out an overtime victory over the Timberwolves, 124-121

These are the types of games the Nets will have to get used to.

The dirty, ugly and raucous performances have become part of the fabric of the identity the Nets must embrace if they are to salvage the second half of what was once a season with championship expectations.

That’s what it took to get back on track and pull out a 124-123 overtime win against Anthony Edwards and the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

“Going into a hostile environment against a good Western Conference opponent — it’s a testament to our mental toughness.” starting guard Spencer Dinwiddie he said in his post-match interview.

It’s the fifth time the Nets have pulled back from double figures to create a one-possession game since the trade deadline.

And in the end, it was defense — not shooting — that won a short game.

The Nets denied Edwards an opportunity to shoot on the final possession of overtime. Late in the fourth quarter, the Nets had back-to-back stops on Edwards — first a lane steal by Spencer Dinwiddie, then a tough tackle on a running floater in the game’s final possessions — before losing Naz Reid, who hit a buzzer-beating three to tie the game at 114 and send it into overtime.

Defense was the lifeline for a Nets team that fell into a 12-point hole in the second quarter. The Nets held the Wolves to just 20 points in the third quarter.

It was an impressive performance by a Nets team whose bench scored a record 98 points in a late rally that fell short against the Bucks the night before.

Head coach Jacque Vaughn has benched nearly every key rotation player against the Bucks on Thursday. Jacque Vaughn benched Spencer Dinwiddie, Cam Johnson, Dorian Finney-Smith against the Bucks. Mikal Bridges played just the first quarter against the Bucks before playing 47 of a possible 53 minutes against the Timberwolves on Friday.

Bridges scored 34 points and shot 13 of 24 from the field and four of eight from downtown. He outplayed Edwards, who finished with 32 points on 12-of-26 shooting and struggled to get his shots down.

Cam Johnson added 15 points and left the game briefly after taking an elbow to the face. Seven different nets, including all five starters, scored in double figures.

Dinwiddie played one of his best games this time in a Nets jersey. He created Brooklyn’s final two baskets in overtime on drive-and-shoot trips — first finding Bridges for a three to tie the game at 121 apiece, then delivering a dime to Finney-Smith, who was wide open in the corner to be allowed. triple.

The Nets then forced the ball out of Edwards’ hands on the final possession of the game.

Veteran Wolves guard Mike Conley blocked his side step at the buzzer.

The Nets have now won four of their last five games and travel to Denver on Sunday to face reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and a Nuggets team expected to emerge from the Western Conference as championship contenders.

After struggling on the road, the Nets have won three of their last four games in opponent’s territory.


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