EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The New Jersey Nets are going so
bad right now they made Charlotte look good.
Brevin Knight scored a season-high 25 points and the Bobcats
snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 91-83 victory Wednesday
night over the struggling Nets.
Charlotte was a loss from tying the longest losing streak in the
NBA this season, co-owned by Atlanta and Toronto. But the Bobcats
outscored the Nets 19-4 to start the third quarter and never
trailed again as boos and jeers rained down on the home team from
all corners of Continental Airlines Arena in the second half.
Richard Jefferson scored 25 points and Vince Carter had 22 for
New Jersey, which lost its third straight game and fourth in a row
at home. One of the other home losses was to a 2-15 Toronto team on
Regardless, the win felt good to the Bobcats.
"It felt like we won the championship," said Knight, who grew
up in nearby Essex County. "It's been a long time since we've had
Knight made two plays during one key sequence in the fourth
quarter that helped hold off the Nets.
With Charlotte leading 70-66, he stole the ball from Jefferson
on a fast break and hit a jumper at the other end to give the
Bobcats a 72-66 lead with 4:32 left. Melvin Ely followed with a
3-point play to extend the lead to nine and New Jersey never got
closer than six the rest of the game.
"It all boiled to down to decisions. I think at critical
junctures we made some pretty good decisions," said Charlotte
coach Bernie Bickerstaff. "In our last four games we had deficits
and then we took the lead, but we haven't made good decisions when
we've had the ball."
Most of the tempo was provided by Knight, who had seven assists
and zero turnovers. Tuesday night in a 101-85 loss to Denver, he
handed out a season-high 16 assists.
"He's had to do a lot of things because we haven't been making
shots from the perimeter," said Bickerstaff.
Jumaine Jones scored 15 points off the bench Wednesday and Emeka
Okafor added 14 points and 13 rebounds for Charlotte, which had
last won on Nov. 26 against Washington.
After Wednesday night's loss, Nets coach Lawrence Frank took the
unusual step of not addressing his players after the game.
"Sometimes you just don't say anything," he said. "You just
bring it in and deal with it the next day."
Kidd and Carter did share their feelings.
"Somethings's got to change," Carter said. "We're in a slump.
I think we are still a team that believes in each other. We have to
decide what we want to be and who we are. The time is now."
Kidd, who didn't take a shot in the first half when he seemed to
be playing in a fog, finished shooting 3-for-9 for 8 points with 10
When asked if the team was in danger of falling apart, he
replied, "We'll soon find out. I hope not. I hope everybody still
is confident we can turn everything around. In this league,
everybody becomes fragile when things don't go well. We'll soon
New Jersey fell to 0-12 when trailing after three quarters
... Nets G Zoran Planinic, whom the Nets are rumored to be
shopping, was inactive ... Charlotte C Jake Voskuhl sat out with an
ankle sprain and teammate Gerald Wallace was inactive with a
sprained right index finger ... Knight exchanged a hug and
conversed at courtside during halftime with an old friend: New
Jersey acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who also represents Essex
County in New Jersey's legislature.