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No more Brooklyn boos for the Nets

The Brooklyn Nets, once booed by their own fans, win their 13th straight NBA game at home and secure playoff spot.

Last updated: 31 Mar 2014 10:10
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Paul Pierce scored 22 points as the Nets achieved their club record-equaling 13th straight home victory [AFP]

The Brooklyn Nets have gone from disappointment to dominant, a team that was booed on its home floor and now rarely loses there.

Paul Pierce scored 22 points after another sensational start, helping the Nets move to the brink of a postseason spot by beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 114-99 for their club record-equaling 13th straight home victory.

Pierce scored 16 in the first quarter, two nights after putting up 17 in the period.

He couldn't keep it going after asking for a rest so he would stay fresh to defend Kevin Love, but the Nets had to plenty more to pull away.

Joe Johnson added 19 points for the Nets, who had a 10-21 win-loss record when they reached the new year, but will clinch a playoff spot with either another win or a loss by the New York Knicks.

A postseason berth was viewed as a sure thing when the Nets acquired Pierce and Kevin Garnett while assembling a team that would cost more than $180 million, but they struggled early and then lost leading scorer Brook Lopez to a season-ending foot injury.

Record home streak

Brooklyn equaled the longest home winning streak in the NBA this season and the best in the history of the franchise, done twice in 2002 when the Nets were still based in New Jersey.

They have won 20 of their last 22 games at Barclays Centre.

Corey Brewer and Kevin Martin each scored 21 for the Timberwolves, who had won two in row and were coming off the highest-scoring game in the NBA this season, when they scored a franchise-record 143 points in a rout of the Lakers on Friday.

But they had only 17 in the fourth quarter of this one as Brooklyn surged to the finish.

In the central, the Cavaliers kept their playoff push alive with a 90-76 win over the Indiana Pacers, who are losing their grip on the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.

At Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant had 31 points and nine assists to help the Thunder beat Utah Jazz 116-96.

Elsewhere, the Raptors had a 98-93 win over the Magic, the Chicago Bulls held off the Celtics 107-102 in Boston, the Trail Blazers beat the Grizzlies 105-98 and the New York Knicks moved within one game of the final playoff spot with an 89-84 win over the Golden State Warriors.

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Source:
AP
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