EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In a game that meant nothing, the New Jersey Nets wanted a win and Charlotte coach Larry Brown wanted to see some of his reserves get significant playing time.
Everyone got what they wanted.
Jarvis Hayes hit two late 3-pointers in a 37-second span and the Nets rallied from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit against Bobcats backups in posting a 91-87 victory on Monday night.
"It was us coming through at the right time," said Hayes, who finished with 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including a perfect 3-for-3 from long range. "We wanted to exploit Sean May at the top of the key. Coach Brown kept switching assignments with him on me and Bobby [Simmons] and whoever he was on, we went to."
Hayes downplayed Brown's decision to play one regular with four backups in both the second and fourth quarters.
"I don't know what he was trying to do," Hayes said. "We wanted to win."
Raymond Felton had 19 points as Charlotte lost its third straight and sixth in seven games.
"This game, I thought, was to give guys a chance to get guys who play so hard in practice some playing time," Brown said. "If the game meant something to the playoffs, I might have played it differently, but we weren't going to the playoffs and New Jersey wasn't going. So I decided to give the other guys a chance to see some time. I'm pleased that we were able to play some other guys. I'm disappointed that we lost."
Charlotte seemed to take control in the third quarter when Brown used his starting lineup the entire way. Trailing by five halfway through the quarter, Gerald Wallace scored six points in a 14-4 spurt that gave the Bobcats a 72-67 lead entering the final 12 minutes.
Augustin, May and Diop actually combined on a 7-0 run to start the quarter and extend the Bobcats' lead to 79-67 with 9:36 to play. Charlotte would score only eight points the rest of the game.
A jumper by Hayes and two baskets by Chris Douglas-Roberts ignited a 10-0 spurt that got New Jersey within 79-77 with 6:29 to go.
The Nets twice tied the game, the second time at 85 on an off-balance jumper by Carter with 3:25 to play.
Carter played most of the fourth quarter with a sprained right big toe.
"Coach asked me three or four times if I wanted to come out," Carter said. "I wasn't coming out. If I had taken my shoe off I would not have been able to return."
May gave Charlotte its last lead at 87-85 with a jumper at the three-minute mark.
"It wasn't an exhibition game, but it was tough, because guys who hadn't played in a long time were out there," May said. "For a lot of us, we hadn't played much. I hadn't played significant minutes in about three months, so it was good to be out there and good to show people that I could still play. I think it was a good experience for a lot of us."
Both teams missed shots over the next few moments before Hayes finally put New Jersey ahead 88-87 on a long 3-pointer with 1:44 remaining.
After May missed a jumper, Hayes hit another bomb with 1:07 to go and the Nets closed out their final home game with their defense containing Charlotte's backups.
"I really hadn't played much with them other than practice time," Augustin said. "It was good to be out there with those guys. I thought we still had a good chance to win the game, but New Jersey hit some big shots. Those shots killed us. It was really frustrating, because we played well for most of the night. We tried to make plays down the stretch and didn't get it done."
The only starter Brown played extended minutes in the second quarter was Felton, who scored 11 of their 21 points to keep the Bobcats close. Augustin returned for the final 19 seconds.
Carter didn't seem to care what Brown was doing.
"We just wanted to win the game," he said.
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