Nets-Bobcats Preview

The Associated Press

An inability to string together wins continues to frustrate the New Jersey Nets. A visit to Charlotte could help them begin a run in a positive direction.

The Nets look to bounce back from their latest defeat and hand the lowly Bobcats an eighth consecutive home loss Sunday night.

New Jersey (11-26) has alternated wins and losses over its last six contests following a season-high eight-game skid. While the Nets' last three victories came against Chicago, New York and Dallas, they've been unable to build on any of those impressive performances in their next contest. They have posted back-to-back victories once this season.

Coming off a 93-92 road win over the Mavericks on Tuesday, New Jersey took a step back with a 107-94 loss at Boston on Friday. The Nets went 5 for 19 from 3-point range and committed 20 turnovers while allowing the aging Celtics to shoot 51.7 percent.

"We've had a history of having a really good win and then following it up with a very bad loss," point guard Deron Williams said. "We're very inconsistent as a team right now."

New Jersey hopes to start building some consistency in Charlotte, where the Bobcats (4-30) have dropped a franchise-record seven straight at home.

The Nets won their last visit to Charlotte, 94-89 on Feb. 11, 2011, and they took the only meeting this season as MarShon Brooks scored 20 points in a 97-87 home win Jan. 22.

Teammate Brook Lopez missed that game while recovering from a stress fracture in his foot, and the Bobcats should be concerned about seeing him in the rematch. Lopez had 38 points in his third game of the season Tuesday, then scored 28 on Friday.

He's scored 31 in each of his last two games against the Bobcats, and could be in for another big night if Charlotte starting center Bismack Biyombo misses a second straight contest with a shoulder injury.

As Lopez has emerged, Williams has quieted down. He's been held to 12 points in each of the last two games after averaging 28.3 in the previous seven.

The Bobcats have struggled offensively all season, averaging an NBA-low 86.3 points. They were held below 80 for the 11th time this season and shot 37.3 percent in a 102-72 loss at San Antonio on Friday, their fourth straight defeat.

The starting backcourt of Gerald Henderson and D.J. Augustin combined for 10 points on 5-of-21 shooting. Charlotte went 3 of 16 from 3-point range.

"I just think as a group we're not shooting the ball well at all," said Corey Maggette, who was 4 of 12 from the field. "We've got to be a better shooting team."

Augustin is shooting 26.8 percent during the four-game skid. Rookie Kemba Walker has shot 10 for 30 over the last three.

The Bobcats have made 38.4 percent overall during the seven-game skid at Charlotte Arena while being outscored by an average of 17.6 points. They're 2-12 at home.

Henderson, who averages a team-leading 14.6 points, has totaled 21 in two games since missing nine with a hamstring injury.

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