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.