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Nets hand Bobcats another blowout loss

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Deron Williams had 20 points and eight assists, Joe Johnson added 22 points, and Brooklyn Nets got a needed win over the Charlotte Bobcats, 99-78 Wednesday night.

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The Nets trailed by 10 at the half, but opened the third quarter with a 21-6 run led by Williams and Johnson, and never looked back. The Bobcats managed just nine points in the third quarter on 3-of-19 shooting and were outscored 56-25 in the second half to lose their eighth straight game.

Reggie Evans grabbed 16 rebounds and Brook Lopez had 16 points and five rebounds for the Nets.

Brooklyn remains in the thick of Eastern Conference playoff race but needed a win to regain some momentum after losing four of its previous five, including two straight.

Rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 17 points and Ben Gordon added 16 for the Bobcats, who are 6-43 since starting the season 7-5.

It was almost as if the Bobcats didn't bother showing up for the second half.

They shot 10 of 40 from the field and could do little right in any phase of the game under first-year coach Mike Dunlap.

Williams, who had a career-high 57 points in his last appearance at Time Warner Cable Arena, scored 13 points in the second half to lead the comeback and Johnson had 16 points after the break.

Williams knocked down a 3-pointer with 6 minutes left in the third quarter to put the Nets ahead for good at 62-59. He's averaging 20 points per game over his past five games.

The Nets, who won despite committing 24 turnovers, came into the game knowing they couldn't afford a loss to the league-worst Bobcats (13-48).

However, Charlotte hit nine of its first 12 shots, including two dunks by Bismack Biyombo, to build an 18-6 lead.

The Nets cut the lead to three by the end of the first quarter behind five 3-pointers, including two by Keith Bogans. However, Gordon had 12 points first-half points to push Charlotte's lead back to 10 at the break.

Things got a little testy midway through the second quarter when Gordon tripped Gerald Wallace as he was heading up the court on a fast break. Gordon was whistled for a foul, but Nets assistant coach Mario Elie was slapped with a technical after arguing that Gordon should have been called for an intentional foul.

Kemba Walker, who has been hot of late for the Bobcats, had 10 points and eight assists in the loss.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
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