The New Jersey Nets had it right in front of them, but they couldn't quite close the deal at their last game in front of their hometown fans on Monday night. The Nets fell to the Charlotte Bobcats 105-103 thanks to a jumper by D.J. Augustin in the final seconds.
After holding a lead for most of the first half, the Nets fell behind the Bobcats following a 13-2 run. New Jersey fought back, in what could have been their last game ever played in Newark if next season is wiped out by a lockout, and took the lead on a Sasha Vujacic three with two minutes remaining in the game.
Charlotte came back by outscoring New Jersey 10-6, giving them a three point lead with 12 seconds left. Vujacic hit another huge three to tie it up at 103 and set the stage for Augustin's heroics. There were 1.1 seconds left on the clock, but the Nets were unable to advance the ball without any timeouts and failed to get a shot off.
Brook Lopez led the Nets offense once again as he continued to finish strong offensively. With his game-high 31 points, Lopez has averaged 32.4 over the last five games. Jordan Farmar, filling in once again for Deron Williams, scored 20 to go along with nine assists while Vujacic added 18.
Dante Cunningham tied his career-high with 21 points to lead five double-digit scoring starters, including a big time jumper down the stretch. Boris Diaw finished with 20, while the star for the Bobcats, Augustin, had 19 to go along with 11 assists.
If Avery Johnson and the Nets want to finish the season with more than double last year's win total of 12, their final chance will be Wednesday night against the best team in the Eastern Conference, the Chicago Bulls, on Wednesday night in the Windy City.
(Sports Network) - The Charlotte Bobcats aim to end an ugly six-game losing streak when they visit the Garden State to take on the New Jersey Nets.
The Bobcats latest setback came in the Queen City on Sunday when Rodney Stuckey led a balanced attack with 24 points and 11 assists as the Detroit Pistons downed Charlotte, 112-101.
Boris Diaw had 20 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Bobcats, who have lost six straight. Gerald Henderson posted a team-high 21 points while Kwame Brown poured in 19 and grabbed seven rebounds in the loss.
"It just seemed like we lost energy," said Bobcats head coach Paul Silas. "I'm not really sure what happened to tell you the truth. When I subbed my second unit in, we just lost it and we weren't able to recover."
The Nets, meanwhile, have also been struggling and lost their third straight contest in Toronto yesterday when the Raptors nearly blew a 20-point fourth quarter lead but held on late to top New Jersey, 99-92.
Brook Lopez paced New Jersey with a game-high 35 points and 11 rebounds. Sasha Vujacic scored 19 as the Nets lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
"It was a gutsy performance from our team," Nets coach Avery Johnson said. "We had such a bad first half in every way and we weren't very good in the third quarter. We had a solid performance in the fourth."
New Jersey has shut down star point guard Deron Williams (right wrist) for the season while leading rebounder Kris Humphries (right heel, right ankle) and guard Anthony Morrow (left knee) also remain sidelined.
The Nets snapped a three-game skid to the Bobcats in the Tar Heel State on Feb. 11 but Charlotte has won two of the three meetings this season.