Nets Lead Wire-to-Wire Against Bobcats in Fifth Win of Season

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Nets Lead Wire-to-Wire Against Bobcats in Fifth Win of Season CHARLOTTE, N.C. — If only the Nets could play the Bobcats more, the worst record in NBA history might not be in jeopardy.

Courtney Lee scored 21 points, Devin Harris added 17 and New Jersey never trailed in beating Charlotte 103-94 on Tuesday night for only its fifth win of the season.

Two of them have come against the Bobcats, who were the first team to lose to the Nets after their 0-18 start.

Brook Lopez added 16 points before fouling out for the energized Nets (5-48), who snapped an eight-game losing streak, improved to 2-27 on the road and moved ahead of the pace of the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers, who finished an NBA-worst 9-73.

Gerald Wallace had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Boris Diaw had 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who allowed the NBA's worst-shooting and lowest-scoring team to shoot 52 percent.

It was a miserable performance for the Bobcats (26-26), who entered the night 19-6 at home and in sixth place in the Eastern Conference as they eye the first playoff berth in franchise history.

Instead, it was the Nets who came in fired up and played harder, looking to hit the reset button on what's been a horrendous season.

Constantly beating Charlotte in transition gave the Nets a cushion, and Kris Humphries' jumper and dunk in the first 90 seconds of the fourth quarter put New Jersey ahead 88-75.

The Bobcats could never make a significant run, and Lopez's dunk with 4:22 left made it 96-86. After the Bobcats cut the lead to 98-93 and with Lopez on the bench with six fouls, Jarvis Hayes hit a 3-pointer with 58 seconds left to put it away.

Harris added nine assists and six rebounds and the Nets placed five players in double figures in a rare solid offensive performance. New Jersey came in averaging 89.8 points and 42 percent shooting from the field.

New Jersey also dominated the glass (47-36) to overcome 18 turnovers while the Bobcats never could recover from a horrible start.

Bobcats coach Larry Brown allowed Wallace to sit out Monday's practice because he was "worn out" after making his first All-Star appearance.

Wallace then got plenty of rest in the first half, too, after picking up two fouls before the game was six minutes old.

It was part of a sluggish performance that saw the Nets build a 24-13 lead.

Some familiar Nets' miscues — a shot-clock violation, eight-second violation and Harris dribbling the ball off his foot out of bounds — helped Charlotte get back in it more than its improved play did.

Stephen Jackson banked in a long jumper to beat the shot clock and tie it at 52 at halftime.

With Lee hitting from the outside and Charlotte still not getting back on defense, the Nets built an 82-73 lead entering the fourth quarter as scattered boos were heard from the more than half-empty arena.

Neither Bobcats owner Bob Johnson nor part-owner Michael Jordan were in their courtside seats a day after Brown said Jordan is doing everything he can to buy majority control of the team.

Notes

With the Bobcats seeking a power forward before the trade deadline, backup PG D.J. Augustin's name keeps coming up in trade talk. "You can't let it mess up your game or your focus," he said. "If it happens, it happens." … Nets C Tony Battie (illness) didn't make the trip. … Nets coach Kiki Vandeweghe, who played for Brown at UCLA, called him "probably the best coach I've ever played for." … Belmont Abbey routed Johnson & Wales 99-26 in a college matinee before the NBA game. Hayes sat in the stands watching his brother, Jonas, a Belmont Abbey assistant.

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