Hornets
Nets
108 - 112 Final - OT
  for this game

Nets rally from huge deficit to down Bobcats

Apr 16, 2008 - 4:03 AM By Carl Dispoto PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Ticker) - For a meaningless game, the final 15 minutes between the New Jersey Nets and Charlotte Bobcats was full of emotion.

Richard Jefferson buried one of the Nets' three 3-pointers in overtime and finished with 28 points as the Nets rallied for a 112-108 victory over the Bobcats in their final home game of the season on Tuesday.

Vince Carter added 18 points and eight assists as New Jersey avoided its first losing season at home (21-20) since the 2000-01 campaign.

The Nets, who like the Bobcats are lottery-bound, came out sluggish at the start of the contest but picked it up just in time. New Jersey will finish its disappointing season on Wednesday in Boston.

"At the end of the day, it's about winning," Jefferson said. "Nothing we do out there will make us feel any better over the summer. It's not going to give us any momentum heading into next season. It's just a matter of going out there and being professional."

Jefferson bounced back from a slow start along with the rest of the Nets, who rallied from a 20-point deficit and took the lead in a frenzied fourth quarter.

"We gave a poor effort in the first half and we just wanted to pick it up," Nets guard Devin Harris said. "We scratched our way back into it."

Jefferson scored seven points and Bostjan Nachbar added six during an 18-5 run that New Jersey used to gain an 88-86 advantage with 2:49 to go.

On the Nets ensuing possession, Charlotte's Matt Carroll laid a shoulder hard into Harris as he drove on the left wing. The Nets guard was knocked backward and went to confront Carroll before Carter separated the players.

Carroll was assessed a flagrant foul and Harris was given a technical.

Carroll sank the technical free throw, but Harris answered by draining both free throws resulting from the flagrant foul. Jefferson followed the free throws with a thunderous dunk over Emeka Okafor, who was left with a bloody lip from the play.

The Bobcats sent it to overtime on a layup by Carroll with 19 seconds left, but the Nets took control, taking the lead for good on jumper by Jefferson with 3:22 remaining. Carter, Devin Harris and Jefferson each buried 3-pointers in the final 2:50 as New Jersey held on for just its third win in nine games.

Jason Richardson collected 31 points, 10 rebounds and a career-high eight steals for the Bobcats, who complete their season with a home game against Philadelphia on Wednesday.

"We thought we had them buried in the books and you can't do that to any NBA team," Richardson said. "You have a team down, you have to kick them. In the NBA, if you don't kick them, they are going to kick you."






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