Nets Gameday: Brooklyn looks to close out road trip with third straight win

Brooklyn Nets
Dec 3, 2021; Brooklyn, New York, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard James Harden (13) controls the ball against Minnesota Timberwolves guard D’Angelo Russell (0) and forward Josh Okogie (20) during the fourth quarter at Barclays Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Nets are looking to return to the Barclays Center on a positive note, but they’ll need to knock off the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday night (8 p.m.) to do that. Brooklyn wraps up the final game of a four-game road trip, in which they’ve gone 2-1 through their first three contests.

James Harden and Kyrie Irving helped power the Nets past the San Antonio Spurs on Friday night and Brooklyn will call upon them again as they continue to navigate the season without Kevin Durant. The pair combined for 61 points as harden recorded a triple-double and Irving took over the fourth quarter.

Harden’s 37-point effort has given the Nets superstar enough belief that he is back in a big way.

“Yeah, I’m definitely back,” Harden said after Friday’s win. “It’s just throughout the course of the year we had so much going on (with) our team. A lot of injuries and whatnot, and obviously the situation with Kyrie, so it’s really difficult to get a rhythm like we all want to. But we just got to continue to fight, continue to take one game at a time and push through it.

“Eventually, this thing is going to come together where we’re all together and we all make a really, really huge run at this thing. But as of now we just continue to grow, young guys continue to get better, continue to teach and build every single game.”

The Nets take the league’s second-best road record into Minnesota after already beating them earlier in the year at the Barclays Center, 110-105. Brooklyn also owns a three-game winning streak against the T-Wolves, which matches their franchise-high against Minnesota which was set from Nov. 4, 2002, to Oct. 31, 2003.

The Timberwolves will come in well-rested after not playing since Wednesday night. They lost to the Atlanta Hawks 134-122 and are 22-23 this season, but have found a bit of a groove going 6-3 in their last nine games.

D’Angelo Russell led Minnesota with 31 points in the loss to Atlanta, but tried to keep an eye on what the team could learn from the game.

“When adversity sets in, we’re either going to go about it the right way or let it roll over and affect us the next play and the next play, and the next guy’s mad,” Russell said. “It’s just a contagious domino effect. I think that’s where we got to be better.”

Nets Notables

The Nets have won 31 straight games when scoring 120+ points, which marks the longest active streak and the longest streak in Nets history. Their last loss when they’ve scored that many was back on Jan. 31, 2021, in a 149-146 loss in Washington. … James Harden is 36-5 (.878) vs. Minnesota in his career (20-0 at home), marking his best win percentage against any opponent. … Kessler Edwards and Day’Ron Sharpe have started each of the last six games. The last pair of Nets rookies to start that many straight games together were Ryan Anderson and Brook Lopez in the 2008-09 season.

Nets Injury Report

  • Nic Claxton (left hamstring tightness) — Questionable
  • Kevin Durant  (left knee MCL sprain) — Out
  • David Duke Jr. (G League – two-way) — Out
  • Joe Harris (left ankle surgery) — Out
  • Paul Millsap (personal reasons) — Out

Timberwolves Injury Report

  • Patrick Beverly (right ankle sprain) — Questionable
  • Jordan McLaughlin (return to competition reconditioning) — Questionable
  • Leandro Bolmaro (G League assignment) — Out

How to Watch

Monday’s game will air on YES Network with Ryan Ruocco, Sarah Kustok and Michael Grady on the broadcast. Chris Carrino and Tim Capstraw will have the call on the radio on 101.9 FM WFAN.