BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- Andrei Kirilenko spearheaded a huge second-half comeback, and the Minnesota Timberwolves came back from a 22-point deficit to defeat the Brooklyn Nets 107-96 Monday night.
The victory enabled Minnesota to improve to 2-1 on the young season, while the Nets dropped to 1-1 in their new home at the Barclays Center. Minnesota rebounded from a 21-point loss Sunday in Toronto.
Nikola Pekovic, who had 27 points in a win over the Nets last season, scored 17 of his 21 points Monday in the first half, then made a clutch shot in the final minute to increase the Timberwolves' lead to 100-96. Chase Budinger sealed the deal with a 3-pointer with 46 seconds left, pushing Minnesota's lead to 103-96.
Kirilenko, who practically begged the Nets' management to sign him over the offseason so he could play for a team owned by fellow Russian Mikhail Prokhorov, dominated Brooklyn with his aggressive play around the basket. Kirilenko and Dante Cunningham combined to give the Nets fits off the offensive glass in the second half.
The Timberwolves limited the Nets to just two free throws over the final 5:23 to secure the victory. They also outscored the Nets 32-10 in the fourth quarter.
The Nets took an early lead in the first quarter thanks to two 3-pointers from Keith Bogans, who was inserted into the starting lineup after Gerald Wallace was made inactive due to a sprained ankle.
Bogans, who played just 28 seconds in the Nets' season-opening win over the Toronto Raptors, was left unguarded both times and calmly canned both jumpers.
Pekovic was having his way down low early on, scoring eight points in the first six minutes, all from inside the paint. Pekovic has had some of his best NBA moments against the Nets, including a 27-point explosion last February.
Brook Lopez had a fine first quarter, scoring nine consecutive points during one stretch that enabled Brooklyn to grab the lead for good. Lopez hit two shots off the glass and had a monstrous dunk in the lane, giving the Nets a 22-19 lead that they never relinquished before halftime.
Andray Blatche had a strong move down low that gave Brooklyn a 31-27 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The Nets continued to put the pressure on the Timberwolves, who appeared exhausted after losing to the Raptors 105-85 Sunday night.
Brooklyn's MarShon Brooks came off the bench to supply six points in the second quarter. Rookie Tyshawn Taylor, the Nets' second-round draft pick out of Kansas, made his first shot as a pro, hitting a running floater off the glass to give Brooklyn a 42-30 lead.
Nets coach Avery Johnson obviously liked the up-tempo style, and he instructed his team to keep pushing the ball and launching shots. Joe Johnson hit a running jumper, then nailed a wide-open 3-pointer to give the Nets a 59-43 lead with 1:15 remaining before intermission.
Then newcomer Mirza Teletovic also hit his first NBA shot, a dagger 3-pointer from straight away that gave the Nets their biggest lead of the half, a 62-47 advantage at the break.
The Nets gradually increased their lead in the third quarter, maintaining their proficiency from long range. Williams hit two consecutive 3-pointers that gave the Nets their biggest lead at 71-49 with 10:06 remaining in the third.
At that point, the Nets had connected on 11 of 17 from behind the arc, while the Timberwolves had made just one of 10 from 3-point range.
However, Minnesota found some energy, thanks to the aggressive play of Kirilenko, who made two strong power moves close to the basket and added a high-flying slam that cut the Nets' lead to 88-82 with 10:06 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Budinger hit a 3-pointer, Alexey Shved also nailed a trey, and Cunningham canned a lane jumper that tied the game at 92-92 with 6:25 left. The Nets' inability to collect defensive rebounds once again hurt them, as Kirilenko and Cunningham collected one offensive board after another.
Pekovic then hit a driving power move to give Minnesota its first lead of the game with 4:29 left, 96-94.
Minnesota then outscored the Nets 7-2 to take control of the game.
NOTES: The Nets, who led the NBA last season in minutes lost due to injuries, already have a casualty two games into the season. Small forward Wallace sprained his ankle in the closing minutes of Brooklyn's season opener, and he did not dress Monday. Wallace's status remains day-to-day. ... The Timberwolves were short-handed, missing two of their top players, including Team USA Olympian Kevin Love, who is recovering from a broken hand. Flashy point guard Ricky Rubio is still rehabilitating a torn ACL and MCL he suffered last March 9. Love will miss six to eight weeks, while there is no timetable for Rubio's return.