But despite the 105-96 victory, it wasn’t as easy as initially expected. The Bobcats showed up to play even though their season has been over for a while.
It seemed as though P.J. Carlesimo and the Nets’ players were slightly frustrated with the overall effort – especially defensively – but will take the win on their home court.
“I think we were a little disappointed in ourselves that we didn’t put them away early,” Brook Lopez said. “But it really was a good test for us to have it go down to crunch time.”
After back-to-back three-pointers from Ben Gordon made it a one-point game late in the fourth quarter, Deron Williams was the Nets’ savior with a shot that rolled around the rim before falling in. That shot took the wind out Charlotte’s sails.
“Any time you’re in a one possession game, anything can happen,” P.J. Carlesimo said about D-Will’s clutch shot. “We did a good job closing. We certainly didn’t play as well in a good chunk of the 48 minutes as we would have liked, but down the stretch, they did a very good job.”
For the second straight game, Williams poured in 20 points in the second half, and he finished with a game-high 32 points on 11-of-18 shooting. Gordon led the Bobcats with 22 points off the bench and drilled six three-pointers.
“It’s tough at this time of year when you get a team just playing loose with nothing to lose,” Williams said. “They came out and hit some tough shots. We definitely feel like we could have played better.”
Despite losing a tooth late, Reggie Evans notched his seventh double-double of the season. Andray Blatche also contributed 16 points off the bench.
Carlesimo said that with the upcoming stretch, he would have liked to see the team play a bit crisper. But mainly he was just happy the team earned the win.
“We need to get guys rested, get guys healthy and continue to work,” he said. “There is no shortage of things to work on.”
But after the way Thursday night’s loss to the Bulls ended, this was a much-needed win, even if it went down to the wire.
“This might have been a disappointing night,” Joe Johnson said. “But overall we got the win, and that’s what matters.”
Jim Mancari is a Contributor to SNYNets.com. Follow him on Twitter @JMMancari.