Nets tie franchise-record with 13th consecutive home victory

Paul Pierce led the Nets to a 13th consecutive home victory on Sunday. AP Photo.

Paul Pierce led the Nets to a 13th consecutive home victory on Sunday. AP Photo.

Spread love, it’s the Brooklyn way. Except if you are a visitor of the Barlcays Center.

The Brooklyn Nets continued their hot play at the Barclays Center on Sunday when they beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 and have now won 13 consecutive games at home to tie a franchise record. They are also just one win away, or one Knicks loss away, from clinching a playoff spot.

“The first part of the season was rough on us with injuries and everything that we went through, and it feels good,” Deron Williams said of winning 13-in-a-row. “It feels good to be able to turn it around.”

This win came just two nights after the Timberwolves scored a franchise-high 143 points against the Lakers. The Nets are no Lakers, in a good way, and were able to beat them behind 22 points from Paul Pierce, 19 points from Joe Johnson, 14 points from D-Will, and 13 each from Mason Plumlee and Shaun Livingston.

The score doesn’t indicate it, but this game was close all the way through. Pierce gave them a slim three point lead after one when he scored 16 on 6-for-6 from the floor and 4-for-4 from behind the arc. The bench stepped up with 20 points in the second quarter to extend that lead to five points.

That lead dropped back down to three after the third quarter despite eight points each from Johnson and Livingston and a 57.1 shooting percentage as a team.  The culprit that quarter was seven turnovers against four assists, they were also outrebounded 11-9 and gave up six second chance points to just two scored.

The Nets finally put some distance between themselves and the T-Wolves in the fourth quarter thanks mostly to a hot shooting Alan Anderson, who scored nine points on 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Jorge Gutierrez also picked up three steals, a career high, in the fourth quarter as the Nets held the T-Wolves to just 17 points in the final frame.

Marcus Thornton left the game in the fourth with lower back stiffness, he missed a couple of games last week with a similar injury. Andrei Kirilenko continued to sit out with an ankle injury and Kevin Garnett missed his 15th consecutive game with back spasms.

The Nets have just 10 games left on the season. They can clinch a playoff spot if the Knicks lose on Monday or if they beat the Rockets on Tuesday. If neither of those occur it sets up a game at The Garden on Wednesday against the Knicks for a playoff spot. The Nets are currently ranked fifth in the Eastern Conference and are still 2.5 games behind the Toronto Raptors for first place in the Atlantic Division.