"We're staying calm, we're staying united and we're staying
together," Nets guard Shaun Livingston said. "The game of basketball
is about runs. Teams make runs and we just had to stay together
during their run."
Brooklyn (35-31) led throughout the second half until Bobcats
forward Chris Douglas-Roberts (13 points) buried a 3-pointer with
9:18 left in the fourth to tie the score at 77.
A three-point play by forward Josh McRoberts gave Charlotte (33-36)
an 85-82 lead with 6:12 left in regulation.
The Nets remembered what happened in Washington on Saturday, when
they squandered a late lead and fell 101-94. They were determined
not to let that happen again Wednesday night.
"We learned from our mistakes in D.C.," Nets center Andray Blatche
said. "We didn't panic, we stayed calm. Like (Nets coach Jason Kidd)
said, we just continued to trust in one another."
Guard Deron Williams, who scored a game-high 25 points and had eight
assists, responded with seven straight points to put Brooklyn back
in front for good. He was one of six players to score in double
figures as the Nets won their season-best 10th straight game at
Barclays Center, their longest home winning streak since 12
consecutive victories in 2005.
Brooklyn is 17-2 in its last 19 home games.
"I think that is the key for us, the trust factor, both offensively
and defensively," said Williams, who scored 53 combined points in
the last two games. "I think that's something we didn't have early
on in the season and I think that's why we struggled a little bit.
But I think now we trust each other."
Forward Joe Johnson had 20 points and eight rebounds, Livingston had
17 points and one steal, extending his career-high streak to 11
games with at least one steal. Blatche had 13 points and five boards
and center Mason Plumlee added 11 points and seven rebounds for the
Nets, who won five out of their last six games.
While the Nets shared the offensive load, they were also stellar
defensively. Blatche held center Al Jefferson (12 rebounds) to 18
points and Williams limited guard Kemba Walker to seven points, 10
less than his season average.
"He's very crafty with the ball, his cross-overs and step-backs,"
said Williams, who has one or more steals in 16 straight games — the longest active streak in the NBA. "I just wanted to keep him in
front of me as best as possible and contest his shots."
[to top of second column]
Walker, who shot 2-of-8 from the field, had a chance to tie it, but
missed a 3-pointer with 59 seconds left in the fourth. Williams
answered with an 18-footer with 37.8 seconds remaining to put
Brooklyn in front 100-95.
"I just think that our focus went down throughout the game, but we
still played well enough to win," Jefferson said. "We made too many
mistakes that we are not supposed to make."
Brooklyn scored 21 points off Charlotte's 15 turnovers, while
matching a season-low of seven turnovers, first set in Sacramento on
Nov. 3. The Nets also held an opponent to less than 100 points at
home for a ninth straight game, their longest streak since 2006.
"Brooklyn is good at forcing turnovers, but we can't have the
unforced ones that we had in the fourth quarter," Charlotte coach
Steve Clifford said.
NOTES: Nets F Kevin Garnett missed his ninth consecutive game with
back spasms. Brooklyn F Andrei Kirilenko, who missed practice
Tuesday with a bruised left big toe and was listed as a game-time
decision, suited up. ... The Nets play the Boston Celtics on Friday
in the finale of a three-game homestand. The home team will debut
blue and gray sleeved jerseys that pay homage to the Brooklyn
Dodgers. "I don't know if I could have worn one as a player," Nets
coach Jason Kidd said of the sleeved jerseys. "I think it's kind of
cool though for the players. I think the players are excited about
it and they're cool. As long as they shoot the ball well, nobody
complains." ... Charlotte F Chris Douglas-Roberts scored in double
figures for the seventh time in 10 games. ... The Bobcats return to
Charlotte to face the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday in the
first of three consecutive home games, including a rematch with
Brooklyn on March 26.
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.