|Without Brook Lopez or Kevin Garnett, the Nets had no chance at stopping Jefferson, as he scored 35 points and grabbed 15 rebounds tonight|
The Nets were without Kevin Garnett, Andrei Kirilenko, Marcus Thornton, and yeah, even Brook Lopez for tonight's overtime against the Bobcats in Charlotte. Add in the strange and uncalled-for Flagrant Two assessed to Jorge Gutierrez in the third quarter for a hard foul on Cody Zeller, and you get a Brooklyn team that was severely undermanned as it played its third overtime game in four nights, eventually falling to Al Jefferson, former Net Chris Douglas-Roberts, and the Bobcats.
Behind 18 first quarter points from Deron Williams, the Nets took a four-point lead into the second quarter. From that point on, it just felt like the Bobcats, behind a small but loud crowd, controlled this game and even though the Nets made runs here and there, they just couldn't break through to take a commanding lead.
The only reason Charlotte didn't win in regulation was because a last-second Kemba Walker allowed the score to be tied at 105 heading into overtime, giving the Nets another chance to come back. However, the Bobcats controlled OT like they did the rest of the game and eventually pulled away for a 116-111 triumph.
Some other observations I had from the game: Good news for the Nets: Deron Williams (29 points on 11-21 shooting and 5-11 from three with seven assists). Mirza Teletovic (18 points on 6-12 3-point shooting), and Jorge Gutierrez (six points on 3-3 shooting in 19 minutes) all played really well. Bad news: No other Net did. Brooklyn went down basically three games behind the Atlantic-leading Raptors and split their season series with the 7th-place Bobcats, throwing away a chance to clinch a tiebreaker…..Ok, more good news: the Nets lost this game without a horde of key contributors playing. If AK, KG, and Thornton were able to go, they don't lose.
The Nets, fresh off their first back-to-back losses since January, head home to play the lowly Cleveland Cavaliers on Friday night.