EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Nov. 30 (Ticker) -- Richard Jefferson
helped the New Jersey Nets end a long losing
streak that could have gotten much worse.
Jefferson scored 23 points and Williams added a season-high 22
as the Nets ended a nine-game skid with a 99-86 victory over the
expansion Charlotte Bobcats.
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Shooting just 40 percent from the field coming into the game -
the second-worst mark in the league - the Nets shot 53 percent
(38-of-72) to end their longest losing streak since 2000-01
season - the year before Jason Kidd
"Guys have been getting open looks," said Jefferson, who was
9-of-17 from the floor. "Everybody's getting open looks, it's
just a matter of us knocking them down. I believe we're one of
the better offensive teams in the NBA. Offensively, we've been
"I think what stimulated out offense was our defense," Nets
center Alonzo Mourning
said. "The key was guys helping each
other and that was the focus coming into the game. Even though
we were playing the Charlotte Bobcats and they don't have the
best record, we had to get it done."
Mourning led the inside dominance of the Nets, who scored 52
points in the paint and held a 42-31 edge on the glass. The
veteran center had a season-high 18 points and 11 rebounds and
three blocks, helping New Jersey hold Charlotte to just 42
"We just have to do that every night," Mourning said. "We have
to check our egos at the door. I've been a part of great
defensive teams and I know what it takes to get to that level."
Mourning also helped the Nets overcome a dominant performance
from Charlotte rookie center Emeka Okafor
, who had a season-high
26 points on 13-of-22 shooting and 12 rebounds for his fifth
"He is a special player," Mourning said. "There is a reason he
got picked in the lottery. When I get done with this game, he's
one of the guys I will follow. I see some of myself in him."
New Jersey wasted a 10-point lead in the second quarter but took
control for good in the third, using a 12-4 run to take a 66-54
cushion on Travis Best
's layup with 3:10 left.
Williams scored eight points in the quarter for the Nets, who
made 10-of-17 shots while holding the Bobcats to 14 points on
"We had no resilience," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said.
"We were talking about our rotations defensively and they were
just non-existent. The Nets did an excellent job of sharing the
basketball, shooting the basketball and making shots."
Trailing 14-11 midway through the first quarter, New Jersey
outscored Charlotte, 16-6, the rest of the period and used a
10-0 run to stretch the lead to 32-22 early in the second.