Napier, short-handed Wolves beat Nets 122-115 in OT
By Joe Ziemer
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Shabazz Napier scored a season-high 24 points, Jarrett Culver added 21 points and the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves rallied past the Brooklyn Nets 122-115 in overtime Monday night.
The Timberwolves had lost 12 of 13 and were again without injured Karl-Anthony Towns and ill Andrew Wiggins. Gorgui Dieng started in Towns’ place and had 11 points and 20 rebounds. It was Minnesota’s first home win since Nov. 13.
Keita Bates-Diop added 15 points off the bench.
Spencer Dinwiddie scored 36 points to lead the Nets, who have lost three straight. Joe Harris scored 19 points.
Dinwiddie has scored at least 20 points in 18 of the 21 games he’s started in place of injured Kyrie Irving.
The Wolves led only once in the first three quarters. A 7-0 run in the closing minutes was capped by Dieng’s 3-pointer from the corner that gave them the lead at 103-101 with 36.3 seconds remaining in regulation.
Taurean Prince’s basket tied it at 103-103 with 26.9 seconds left and set up the overtime finish.
Robert Covington and Kelan Martin hit key 3-pointers in overtime for the Timberwolves. Covington’s 3 with 3:15 to play gave them the lead for good. Napier scored eight points in overtime.
Naz Reid scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for Minnesota. The rookie set career highs in points and minutes (20) in his third career game.
Nets: Irving (right shoulder impingement) missed his 21st straight game. Caris LeVert (right thumb surgery) was out for the 22nd consecutive game. The Nets also were without Nicolas Claxton (left hamstring soreness) and David Nwaba (right Achilles tendon tear).
Timberwolves: Towns (left knee sprain) missed his seventh consecutive game. Wiggins (flu-like symptoms) missed his second. Treveon Graham also missed the game with illness. Jake Layman (left toe sprain) was out for the 18th game in a row. Noah Vonleah (left gluteal contusion) was a late scratch.
Nets: At Dallas on Thursday. It’s the first meeting of the two teams this season.
Timberwolves: At Milwaukee on Wednesday. The Bucks have won eight of the past 10 meetings.