Lopez, Nets Post Rare Road Win, 94-89 Over Bobcats

AP Image Ingested via Automated Feed AP

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Brook Lopez had 31 points and 11 rebounds for his second double-double of the season, and the New Jersey Nets held off the sluggish Charlotte Bobcats 94-89 on Friday night to snap a 12-game road losing streak.

The Nets improved to 4-24 on the road as Lopez posted his first double-figure rebounding game since Dec. 1, leading an energized team that seemed to respond to coach Avery Johnson changing the travel schedule.

Devin Harris added 16 points and eight assists and Kris Humphries had 15 points and 14 rebounds for the Nets, who raced to a 12-2 lead and never trailed in their second straight win.

Stephen Jackson scored 21 points and Gerald Wallace added 20 for the Bobcats, who have dropped six of eight.

The Bobcats cut a 19-point third-quarter deficit to 83-79 on Jackson's 3-pointer with 3:10 left. But Harris hit a turnaround to spark a 6-0 run that put it away for the Nets.

Searching for answers on the road, Johnson had the team fly to Charlotte early Thursday and hold practice at Time Warner Cable Arena. The team had another shootaround Friday morning.

Hours later, Lopez came through with a welcome performance on the glass. Johnson has been spending extra time working with him - the 7-footer entered averaging just 5.6 rebounds per game, surpassing 10 boards only twice.

Lopez helped New Jersey hold a 48-42 rebounding edge to offset 41 percent shooting from the field.

A day after Bobcats owner Michael Jordan played in a practice scrimmage with his team, the NBA great could only watch in his bright purple shirt as the Bobcats had one of their worst performances since coach Paul Silas replaced Larry Brown.

The Bobcats shot 43 percent, missed 12 free throws and their defense forced only five turnovers in a damaging loss for their postseason hopes. Charlotte entered the night trailing Indiana by one game for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Two nights after a disputed loss to Indiana in which no foul was called on Jackson's shot at the buzzer, the Bobcats could never get going offensively.

Point guard D.J. Augustin was held to four points and two assists on 2-of-10 shooting. Boris Diaw missed eight of 13 shots.

In a game perhaps fitting for the 28th- and 29th-ranked scoring teams in the NBA, the Bobcats missed their first eight shots. There was another stretch early in the second quarter in which the teams combined to miss six consecutive free throws.

But when Lopez started getting going offensively and even on the glass, the Bobcats remained sluggish as they clanged shots. Lopez had 19 points at halftime as the Nets rocketed to a 52-37 lead.

With Lopez hitting fadeaways out of the post, the Nets' lead swelled to 65-46 midway through the third quarter.

The Bobcats rallied early in the fourth quarter, but didn't have enough in the tank.

Notes: Johnson laughed when asked if he scrambled to draw up a game plan when he found out Jordan practiced Thursday. "I tell you man, Michael's the one guy who still could probably do it at 48," he said. ... After letting G Orien Greene go following the expiration of his 10-day contract, Johnson indicated the Nets could sign a big man after the All-Star break. ... Johnson said F Damion James (broken foot) has been cleared for full contact and will likely practice Tuesday barring a setback.
  • CBSNews

Comments