With P.J. Carlesimo tightening the rotation and the Nets having lost four of their last five games, the challenge of winning on the road in Charlotte against a 13-win Bobcats team felt, well, necessary. Too bad they didn't come out and play like it. At least not until, yes, believe it or not, the third quarter.
It was quite scary early, but the Nets were able to outscore the Bobcats by 31 points in the second half, to pull away 99-78.
Seriously, with the way this one started, with the Bobcats getting out early on a 14-2 run, it looked as if we were in for a long night. The Nets righted the ship, slightly, after Carlesimo made early use of his bench, who came in gunning. Mirza Teletovic, Keith Bogans and C.J. Watson shot the team back into the game, going 4-of-5 collectively from three and helping the Nets pull to within three, 29-26.
Turnovers were certainly an issue early. The Nets had six in the first quarter, and six more in the second. In the first half they had 12 turnovers to just eight assists. A terribly sloppy half, and they hadn't even gotten to the famed "struggle quarter" -- the third.
Ben Gordon and Ramon Sessions were strong off the bench for the Bobcats, combining for 21 first half points. The Nets just had no answer for either on the defensive end. The transition offense and the points in the paint (30) for the Bobcats helped them build a 10-point halftime lead, 53-43.
Here comes the third quarter... But, wait!
Surprisingly, you can say, the Nets opened up the third on 10-2 run, which is certainly impressive, considering how poorly they've played in third quarters this season. Williams really took over after the half, both stepping out and shooting long-range jumpers, driving and kicking; it was the D-Will of old. He helped the Nets to a 71-62 lead after three quarters, as they outscored the Bobcats 28-9 in the third.
From there, it was just a matter if playing out the final 12 minutes. The Nets carried their third-quarter success over to the fourth, pulling away from the Bobcats who now have lost 21 of their last 23 games at home.
In the end, the Nets topped the 'Cats 99-78, with Williams leading way with 20 points and 8 assists, Reggie Evans played really well, going for 16 rebounds while Gerald Wallace blocked 5 shots.
Turnovers were a major issue, though. You can't turn it over 24 times in a game against a good team and expect to come away with a double-digit lead, let alone a win. This, again, is something they'll have to continue to address.
For more on the Bobcats, see: Rufus on Fire
- Nets at Bobcats - March 6, 2013 - Box score - NBA.com
- Nets vs. Bobcats: First half (Video) - NBA.com
- Biyombo throws down hammer (Video) - NBA.com
- Biyombo Alley-oop (Video) - NBA.com
- Defense to Offense (Video) - NBA.com
- Williams, Johnson lead Nets over Bobcats, 99-78 - Steve Reed - AP
- Williams on second-half surge, Nets' victory (Video) - Sarah Kustok - YES Network
- Johnson on Nets' improvement in second half (Video) - YES Network
- Carlesimo on changes in the second half (Video) - YES Network
What Can The Nets Do To Shake Up Team? (Video) - Kurt Rambis - ESPN
- Nets Defeat the Woeful Bobcats - Zach Schonbrun - New York Times
- Nets blow past hapless Bobcats - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Kris booted out of Nets’ rotation - Tim Bontemps - New York Post
- Rapid Reaction: Nets 99, Bobcats 78 - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- Nets still a work in progress - Mike Mazzeo - ESPN New York
- With Humphries benched, Nets storm back to crush Bobcats - Seth Walder - New York Daily News
- Larry King: Back in Brooklyn - Rod Boone - Newsday
- Rapid Recap: #Nets 99, #Bobcats 78 - Jim Mancari - SNY Nets
- Comeback Blowout: Nets 99, Bobcats 78 (Game Grades) - Devin Kharpertian - The Brooklyn Game
- Good and bad apparent for Nets in lopsided win - Greg Hrinya - Examiner
- Nets Overcome Early Struggles to Blow Out Charlotte - Jonah Mars - From Russia With Dunk
- Nets at Bobcats Recap: Much Needed Win - Anthony Dixon - Nets Take Over
- Bobcats’ 2nd-half shooting hits frigid in loss to Nets - Rick Bonnell - Charlotte Observer
- First half game thread - NetsDaily
- Second half game thread - NetsDaily