On Wednesday night, the Nets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats by a final score of 99-78.
The Skinny: After making two of their first three, the Nets missed six straight shots early in the first quarter, allowing the Bobcats to orchestrate a 16-2 run to open a 12-point lead. Following a P.J. Carlesimo timeout, the Nets went on a 12-4 run to get back within one. Five three-pointers from Brooklyn in the quarter kept the game close, as the Nets trailed by three after one.
The Nets took the lead to start the second, but hot shooting from Ben Gordon off the bench put the Bobcats right back on top. Gordon scored Charlotte’s first 12 points of the second quarter, and a 13-2 run put the Bobcats up 10. Charlotte maintained that 10-point lead into the break.
Brooklyn raced out to a 14-3 run to open the third quarter to regain the lead. Joe Johnson and Brook Lopez found their stroke from the outside, combining for 18 points in the third frame. The Nets outscored the Bobcats 28-9 in the quarter and led by nine after three. The nine points from Charlotte was the lowest of any opponent of the Nets in any quarter this season.
Deron Williams knocked down big buckets to start the fourth quarter, but the Bobcats got back on track offensively for a brief period. Johnson kept up his torrid second-half pace and drilled a few daggers down the stretch to increase the lead to 21. The Nets then cruised to an easy victory.
High Scorers: Johnson led all scorers with 22 points on 8-of-14 from the field, including five three-pointers. For the Bobcats, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist Gordon led the way 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting.
Key Stats: The Nets were unconscious from three-point range, shooting 13-of-27 (48 percent) compared to the Bobcats shooting 4-of-18 (22 percent) from beyond the arc.
Who Was Hot: Williams shot 7-of-12 from the field for 20 points and dished out eight assists. Reggie Evans was active on the boards with 16 rebounds and shot 3-of-4 for six points. After a slow start, Lopez shot 6-of-7 for 16 points. Gordon poured in 16 points off the bench.
Who Was Not: Gerald Wallace was 1-of-7 from the field but did grab eight rebounds and block five shots. Gerald Henderson had a hot hand to start the game but finished 4-of-13 from the field for 11 points. Kemba Walker wasn’t much better at 4-of-12 shooting.
Fun Fact: Wallace played seven seasons with the Bobcats from 2004-2011 and is the franchise’s all-time leader in scoring with 7,437 points (16.3 points per game).
Jim MancariThe first half of this game was extremely frustrating. How can a playoff team trail the worst team in the league by 10 at halftime?
That’s the Nets for you. This game marks the third straight of 20 or more turnovers. This pace must change if Brooklyn expects to make any noise in the playoffs against good teams.
The Nets finished with 25 turnovers, but Charlotte only managed 16 points off those turnovers. The Nets did hold the Bobcats to just 25 second-half points.
The Nets really turned it around though in the second half offensively. The “Big Three” of Johnson, Williams and Lopez finally found their strokes and dominated the Bobcats, which should have been the case from the very beginning.
The Bobcats have now lost 27 consecutive games in which Walker has scored 16 or fewer points. He had 10 in this one.
The Nets have now defeated the Bobcats in six straight games and have averaged a 12.0-point margin of defeat. Charlotte’s losing streak extends to eight games, and the team has lost 21-of-23 games on its home floor.
Brooklyn (35-26) returns home Friday night for a matchup against the Washington Wizards. The 7:30 p.m. game will be televised on the YES Network.
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.