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Heartbreak in Minnesota

By Siwale Chabala

Opening night for the NBA was officially on tuesday for the marquee teams in the league excluding the Los Angeles Clippers whose superstar number one draft pick Blake Griffith got shelved for 6 weeks earlier with a knee injury. The rest of the league played their first game on wednesday including the New Jersey Nets who lost a heartbreaker to the Minnesota Timberwolves, 95-93. Damien Wilkins hit a buzzer beater to steal a victory from the Nets in what was an exciting finish. Minnesota came back from 19 points to stun New Jersey who had a comfortable lead during the whole game. Wilkins finished with 12 points, but the T-Wolves were led by rookie sensation Johnny Flynn with 18 points. Brook Lopez had a fantasy stat line with 27 points, 15 rebounds and 5 block shots. Yi added 17 points and 12 rebounds while Terrence Williams made a strong debut with 15 points.

Tonight was a big night for sports in the tri-state area. Both the Nets and Knicks were in action and the New York Yankees made it back to the World Series. Yours truely was flipping back and forth between the Jersey game, World Series and the free-preview of the league pass. The Nets started off strong running on Minnesota and taking the Minnesota crowd out of the game. Brooke Lopez outplayed the Wolves superstar Al Jefferson, who only had 9 points. Lopez looked impressive, showing off his post game and medium range jumper. It was also a clash of two Big East rookies, Terrence Williams(Louisville) and Johnny Flynn(Syracuse). They both showed they belonged in the league immediately making an impact. Yi Jianlian surprised on- lookers with his strong play. Somebody has been working on their game.

New Jersey was cruising, leading at the half 55-43. The Nets were up 19 points, 72-53 in the middle of the third quarter. Easy win right?? Wrong. I made the mistake of clicking to the World Series and forgetting this is the NBA were every team has a run in the them, especially in the beginning of the season. When I clicked back to the Net game, I saw the T-Wolves within 4 points of the lead. Minnesota outscored New Jersey 31-15 in the fourth quarter. Johnny Flynn, Sasha Pavolic (formerly of the Cleveland Cavaliers), and rookie Wayne Ellington (North Carolina) brought the Wolves back from the double digit deficit. Flynn was causing havoc in the paint by penetrating and going to the free-throw line. He put Minnesota up by 2 points in the closing seconds, 93-91 until Devin Harris tied the game 93-93 with 18 seconds remaining in the game. Harris' bucket were the first points since the 3:13 mark of the fourth. With the game tied, Minnesota put the ball in the hands of Johnny Flynn, who penetrated again, pulled up for the free-throw jumper, he missed the shot but Damien Wilkins grapped a lose ball and put up the followed shot, gametime.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! An exciting finish but to Nets fans, a lost opportunity. New Jersey will make their home debut on friday against an old friend, Vince Carter aka half man/half amazing.