Nets lose to Timberwolves, fail to clinch playoffs while clinging to one-game lead for 6th spot

Oh so close, but no cigar.

The Nets had an opportunity to cement a playoff spot with a victory in their matchup against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

They instead lost in a nail-biter, 107-102, and must fight for their playoff lives another day.

The Nets entered Tuesday night in control of their own destiny: Two straight wins would have guaranteed a top-six seed in the Eastern Conference, helping steer the Nets away from the sudden-death Play-In Tournament.

The seventh-seeded Miami Heat compounded matters by beating the Detroit Pistons, 118-105, on Tuesday. The Heat now trail the Nets by only one in the Eastern Conference standings. Both teams only have three games left on their schedules.

And be sure to check the NBA’s Last Two Minutes Report on Wednesday, because Spencer Dinwiddie — who had strung together an excellent scoring night — was robbed of a foul call on the game’s final possession.

The Nets trailed 105-102 with just seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, and Dinwiddie drew contact on a three-point attempt defended by Timberwolves star Anthony Edwards.

Officials ignored the contact, and Edwards swatted Dinwiddie’s attempt out of bounds. On the ensuing possession, Dinwiddie took a double-pump three-pointer from the corner that fell short.

Dinwiddie tallied 30 points on 13-of-24 shooting from the field, powering a Nets offense that lacked punch with Mikal Bridges’ cold-shooting night.

Bridges scored 24 points but shot 9-of-24 from the field and missed five of his six three-point attempts.

Dorian Finney-Smith and Cam Johnson were the only other Nets players to score in double figures, tallying 14 apiece.

Meanwhile all five Wolves starters scored at least 15 points, led by Edwards, who scored 23, and star big man Karl-Anthony Towns, who added 22 points and 15 rebounds. Former Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert added 12 points and 12 rebounds, and Mike Conley scored 18 points.


The Nets lead the seventh-seeded Heat by one game. The eighth- and ninth-place Hawks and Raptors trail the Nets by three and 3.5 games, respectively, making their odds of leapfrogging Brooklyn in the standings unlikely with only three games left.


The Nets hit the road to face the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday in second leg of a back-to-back. They round out the season hosting the Orlando Magic on Friday, followed by the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday.