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Nets play 3rd straight overtime game, run out of gas and lose to the Bobcats, 116-111 (OT)

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Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Mixed emotions surrounding Nets nation the last few days. The first game of the three game road-trip, the Nets won an overtime thriller over the Mavericks. Following that game, after being up by as much as 22 on the New Orleans Pelicans, the Nets squandered the big lead, which ended up resulting in a disappointing overtime loss.

With a win against the Bobcats, the Nets had a chance to narrow their deficit in the Atlantic division, to just one game, trailing the division-leading, Toronto Raptors. The Nets and Bobcats met just a week ago, in a closely contested game the entire way. But, behind the lead of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson, the Nets captured a 104-99 victory.

In what would be a franchise record third straight overtime game, the Nets fell to the Bobcats and likely out of contention for the Atlantic Division lead, in a 116-111 overtime loss.

Kevin Garnett (back), Andrei Kirilenko (ankle), and Marcus Thornton (back) all sat out due to injury. Their status' for Friday's game is uncertain. Deron Williams played despite being sick.

There's something about playing in Charlotte that brings the best out of Deron Williams. Through the first six minutes of the first quarter, Williams scored 12 of the Nets first 16 points. Must I remind you all about Williams' 57 point outburst in Charlotte, two seasons back? He finished the quarter with 18 points on 7-8 shooting.

The first quarter looked to be a scoring battle between Deron Williams and Al Jefferson. Jefferson answered Williams' 18 points with 11 of his own, but it still wasn't enough to contain the Nets. The score after one: 28-24, in favor of Brooklyn.

Excluding Williams, the Nets shot 4-10, combining for 10 of the 28 points scored.

The second quarter flowed with a back and forth pace, as neither team was able to break free. The Bobcats were caught in early foul trouble, enabling the Nets to get easy points at the free throw line for the last seven minutes of the half.

Despite shooting an impressive 54%, the Nets only led 59-58 at the half. They had zero offensive rebounds and forced only four turnovers. Clearly with Kirilenko out, the Nets lacked some defensive intensity.

Al Jefferson continued to dominate, leading all scorers at the half with 22 points. Deron Williams, who scored 18 points in the first quarter, finished the half with 20 points. With injuries, comes opportunities for other players. Mirza Teletovic had a confident stroke, scoring 13 first-half points on 3-6 shooting. Still, it seemed to be the Deron Williams v.s. Al Jefferson show.

Quick first half stats: Deron Williams, Mirza Teletovic, and Al Jefferson were the only players in double figures after the first half of play. The Nets, who usually play with a balanced attack, were heavily riding the back of Williams.

The second half didn't play out so well for the Nets, as they were out-scored 25-19 in the third and really never seemed to get into much of a rhythm offensively. They also struggled at boxing out and putting together a string of stops on Al Jefferson, Kemba Walker and company.

In the fourth, the Nets made their run, after Jorge Gutierrez was ejected for a Flagrant 2 foul on Tyler Zeller. The Nets pushed on the backs of Deron Williams and Joe Johnson and -- aside from a questionable call on whether or not Williams hit a two or a three; it was called a two -- the Nets were able to force overtime.

Credit to Williams, by the way, for shutting down Walker on the final play of regulation. A nice defensive stop.

In overtime, Charlotte was just too much for Brooklyn, with contributions from Jefferson and Walker, the usual suspects, and Chris Douglas-Roberts who offered up the dagger.

Charlotte would pull away, giving the Nets their second straight overtime loss, 116-111, and putting them 2.5 games behind the Raptors for the Atlantic Division lead.

The Nets head back home this Friday, where they will welcome the Cleveland Cavaliers to Brooklyn.

For more on the Charlotte Bobcats, check them out at Rufus on Fire.