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Nets 93

MINNEAPOLIS - So how do you say "never mind, I'll buy a Roller Derby team" in Russian?

For over three quarters last night, life was good for the Nets , who looked like a sound investment for any Russian billionaire. With seven minutes to go, their once 19-point lead was still an enormously healthy 16.

They had Brook Lopez headed for a career night as one of three guys who already secured a double-double. Heck, Mikhail Prokhorov might drop $18K for lunch on each of them.

And then ...

"We just got kind of careless with the ball," Lopez said.

Poise and execution went out the window for the Nets , and Damien Wilkins' follow-up basket at the buzzer went in for the Timberwolves. So instead of starting the NBA season with a dominating win, the Nets suffered a devastating 95-93 defeat.

"It's all about the team, and we came up short," said coach Lawrence Frank, waving off the stellar individual efforts of Lopez (27 points, 15 rebounds, five blocks), Yi Jianlian (17 points, 12 rebounds), rookie Terrence Williams (15 points, 10 rebounds - but five turnovers) and Devin Harris (14 points, eight assists).

"We lost our poise."

And with it, the game.

The Nets also lost Jarvis Hayes to a left hamstring strain in the first quarter. They were outscored, 31-15, in the fourth quarter, including 24-6 over the final 6:39, when they committed five turnovers and bricked eight of nine shots.

Johnny Flynn (18 points), the rookie from Syracuse, drove after Harris had tied the score, 93-93, at :18.5. Flynn, who had given the Wolves leads of 92-91 at :34.6 with two free throws and 93-91 at :22.9 with 1-of-2, missed. Al Jefferson and three Nets banged for the ball. It bounced to Corey Brewer, who lost it. It bounced to Wilkins.

"I just went to the boards. A lot of times teams don't look to block out. It fell in Al's hands, then Corey's and ended with me," said Wilkins, who had no idea he'd beaten the buzzer until the refs reviewed and upheld the shot.

And the Nets had their seventh straight loss here. This one hurt.

"We took quick shots, played into their game," said Williams after his NBA debut.

Said Harris: "It's tough. We were in control pretty much the whole game, but we have to learn as a team how to put teams away."


Courtney Lee shot 2-of-11 in his Nets debut. "The shots came easy, I just didn't knock 'em down."

Chris Douglas-Roberts started at three, had eight points in 24 foul-plagued minutes.

MRI on Tony Battie's sore right knee uncovered no structural damage, but he'll get second opinion.

Nets expected to announce decisions on rookie contract options today. They'll pick up those of Yi, Lopez and Lee, decline that of Sean Williams.

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Author: Fox Sports
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Added: October 30, 2009


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