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- With 11 wins in their last 13 games, the Nets may be the NBA’s hottest team, but they always seem to have trouble with the Timberwolves. Earlier this season, Minnesota handed Brooklyn its first loss ever at Barclays Center, a 107-96 victory on Nov. 5, and the Wolves have beaten the Nets eight straight times in Target Center.
- Trade rumors have been rekindled about Nets center Brook Lopez, but point guard Deron Williams told reporters after shootaround on Wednesday that he doesn’t believe there is any truth to them. “Brook is our center. Brook is having an All-Star year, so I don’t see Brook going anywhere,” Williams said of the fifth-year center, who is averaging 18.5 points and 7.4 rebounds on the year, but 20.1 points and 8.1 rebounds in the 13 games since P.J. Carlesimo was appointed interim coach. Williams said he talked to Lopez about the rumors, advising his teammate to ignore them. “Like I’ve said a million times, I don’t pay attention to that stuff,” Williams said. “I just try to go about my business.”
- Guard Tyshawn Taylor and forward Tornike Shengelia are not on this three-game road trip for Brooklyn. With the Nets relatively healthy midway through the season, the rookies were assigned Tuesday to the Springfield Armor of the NBA Developmental League. It’s the second assignment to Springfield for Taylor, who has appeared in 21 games for Brooklyn, and Shengelia, who has played in 13.
- Wolves coach Rick Adelman will not be at Target Center to face Carlemiso, the coach who succeeded him at both Portland and Golden State in the 1990s. Adelman will miss his ninth game to be with his wife Mary Kay, who has been hospitalized. Terry Porter, 2-6 while filling in for Adelman, will be in charge again.
- Guard Alexey Shved and center Nikola Pekovic will miss their third straight game Wednesday, though both players say they are making progress after being injured last Thursday against the Clippers. Shved, who sprained an ankle in that game, and Pekovic, who suffered a bruised thigh, have yet to practice at full-speed, and Porter said the decision to keep both players out of uniform Wednesday was “not close.” In their absence, Greg Steimsma will start at center with forwards Andrei Kirilenko and Derrick Williams, and Ricky Rubio and Luke Ridnour will start at guard against Brooklyn’s difficult Deron Williams-Joe Johnson backcourt. The Wolves are also without All-Star forward Kevin Love, who had surgery last week to repair a broken bone in his right hand.
- J.J. Barea, the Wolves’ lone reserve guard until Shved returns, plans to meet with team vice president David Kahn to discuss a possible appeal of the $5,000 fine levied by the NBA for flopping. Barea, who was warned after a similar infraction during the season opener, was fined for backpedalling after Dallas guard Roddy Beaubois touched Barea’s chest with his forearm. “The ref was right in front and he saw (Beaubois) pushing. So we’ll talk to the NBA and see how it goes,” Barea said. The 6-foot guard said “I’ve changed the way I play all season, since the beginning. I’m not going down to the floor like I used to.”
– Phil Miller