NEW YORK -- Brooklyn Nets coach Lionel Hollins accepted the blame after his team looked defeated and disinterested in a 100-85 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday afternoon at Barclays Center.
“I take full responsibility for us not being out there and ready to go,” said the embattled Hollins, whose team dropped its fifth straight game to fall to 7-20 on the season. He added: “I didn’t think we competed today for 48 minutes. Maybe 10 minutes, maybe 12, but that’s not going to get it done.”
The Nets, who shot just 5-for-21 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers, trailed by as many as 20 and allowed the Timberwolves to shoot 47.5 percent from the field.
“It was just energy and effort,” said center Brook Lopez, who had 20 points, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. “I don’t know if it was the 1 o’clock game or numerous excuses, but we don’t want those. They just outplayed us.”
Lopez shot 8-for-11 from the field, while the rest of the team combined to shoot 24-for-67 (35.8 percent). Joe Johnson has just 10 field goals in his last four games on 38 attempts (26.3 percent).
“We didn’t play hard. We didn’t show any resistance. The score is very indicative of that,” Jarrett Jack said. “We have to soul-search individually and collectively, and we can’t have that going forward.”
No. 1 overall pick Karl-Anthony Towns, in his return to the building in which he was drafted, dominated, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Piscataway, New Jersey, native thrilled family and friends in attendance by converting an emphatic, one-handed breakaway dunk.
“I was just in the hallway warming up before the game, and I remember walking through the hallway right when I was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves,” Towns said. “I was just so happy. It brings back so many memories. Madison Square Garden may have my heart since I was a child, but Barclays Center is where my life really got started.”
Former Net Kevin Garnett, who also made his return to Brooklyn for the first time since he waived his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal to Minnesota at the deadline last season, has proved to be a great mentor for Towns and his young teammates.
“They ask questions. They work with him. They listen. When he gets on them, they respond,” Minnesota coach Sam Mitchell said of KG. “When he pats them on the back, they smile. He’s the ultimate teammate. All the things he’s accomplished as a player individually, the thing they leave out is he’s a great teammate.”
Garnett left through a side exit without talking to reporters, just like old times. Arguably his most memorable moment as a Net was when he let out a primal roar after diving on the floor for a loose ball in Game 3 of the 2014 playoffs against Toronto.
The current Nets lacked that kind of intensity, passion and fire on Sunday afternoon -- and got blown out as a result.