Bobcats 105, Nets 103
NEWARK, N.J. (AP)
D.J. Augustin said it had been a while since he hit a game-winning shot like he did on Monday night.
''I guess when I was younger, playing Biddy basketball, about 10 years old,'' Augustin said about his previous similar game-winner. ''I was playing for the New Orleans All-Stars and I hit a shot that put us in the national championship game. That was it.''
Nets guard Sasha Vujacic, who finished with 19 points, hit a long 3-pointer to tie the game at 103 with 10.9 seconds remaining.
Augustin, who had 19 points and 11 assists, brought the ball down the floor.
''I didn't want to shoot too early, because I didn't want to give them any time,'' said Augustin, who used a pick-and-roll with Boris Diaw to get open. ''Boris did a good job of screening for me and it was going to be a tough shot.''
With 5 seconds left, he used a crossover dribble to get some distance, then made the 19-foot jumper while falling down.
''It felt good leaving my hands,'' Augustin said. ''I couldn't really see it because I was on the floor. I'm so small. I was afraid of getting it blocked.''
''D.J. made a heck of a play,'' Charlotte coach Paul Silas said. ''We set up the pick-and-roll with D.J. and Boris and it worked well. It was fun, but nerve wracking as well. We had a double-digit lead and couldn't sustain it. I like the way the guys took charge when they had to.''
Diaw, who scored 18 of his 20 points after intermission, knew that Augustin was going to take the shot after he set his screen.
''The most difficult play to guard is the pick-and-roll,'' Diaw said. ''If it's done right, someone has to be open. It's not surprising. Most of what we do is off the pick-and-roll. D.J. got open and that's his kind of shot. I knew that they would probably switch and we had to attack the big man.''
Nets center Brook Lopez, who scored a game-high 31 points, heaved a desperation shot at the buzzer that was wide left. It was the 10th time this season that Lopez eclipsed the 30-point mark.
''D.J. made a tough shot at the end,'' Lopez said. ''We had a great effort. It's a shame we couldn't get one more here, because the fans showed us a lot of support this season and tonight. I just want to thank them for their support. It hasn't been easy. I thought we played the best we possibly could.''
The Bobcats used strong third quarter shooting to move past the Nets, connecting on 14 of 23 in the period to turn a four-point halftime deficit into a six-point lead.
Jordan Farmar had 20 points and nine assists for the Nets.
The two teams were missing several players, competing with severely depleted and injury-riddled rosters as they continued to play out the string.
The Nets took a 53-49 lead at the half, thanks to Lopez. He had 14 points in the first half to pace New Jersey.
The Bobcats outscored the Nets 17-6 over the first five minutes of the third quarter to take a 66-59 lead.
Diaw, who was limited to just two points in the first half, scored seven during that span to key the run.
The Bobcats increased the lead to 75-65 with 2:45 left on a jumper from Augustin.
The Nets tied it at 91-91 on two free throws from Farmar with 3:22 left, but Cunningham gave the lead back to the Bobcats on a corner jumper with 2:40 left.
Vujacic gave the Nets their first lead of the second half with a long 3-pointer with 2:02 left, putting New Jersey ahead 94-93.
Diaw then answered with a 3-point play, driving the lane and drawing a foul with 1:41 left, giving Charlotte a 96-94 advantage.
''I'm just glad we got the win,'' Augustin said. ''I'm glad I made the big shot and now we have a chance to head to the summer with another one.''
Notes: The Nets announced that guard Deron Williams underwent right wrist surgery on Monday at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. ... Williams' wrist will be encased in a soft splint for two weeks and he will be able to resume basketball-related activities in 6 to 8 weeks. Williams is expected to fully recover and will be ready to start the 2011-12 season. Williams averaged 15 points and 12.8 assists in 12 games for New Jersey after coming over in the trade with Utah. ... It was the 24th different starting lineup the Nets utilized this season.