The Charlotte Bobcats needed an extra frame to claim victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night at Time Warner Cable Arena. The 116-111 win was Charlotte's tenth in the last 12 home games and a little payback for a loss they suffered at the Barclays Center a week ago.
Al Jefferson scored 35 points, Kemba Walker had 20 points and 12 assists and Chris Douglas-Roberts added 16 points, including two huge jump shots in overtime. Deron Williams led the way for Brooklyn with 29 points, 18 coming in the first quarter.
With both teams jockeying for playoff position in the Eastern Conference, the Cats and Nets played to their strengths in order to keep the score at arms length.
Brooklyn continued to fire away from three point range, knocking down 17 of 37 (46%) while Charlotte pounded the ball inside to Jefferson and controlled the boards all night, outrebounding the Nets 49-32 (Jefferson 15).
It resembled a good old-fashioned prize fight and almost turned into one when Nets reserve guard Jorge Gutierrez took Cats forward Cody Zeller down WWE style with a hard flagrant two foul late in the fourth quarter. Gutierrez would be ejected from the game.
At that point, Charlotte was nursing a six point lead (96-90) that began to dwindle as the Nets kept trading three's for Bobcats two's until Williams was able to tie the game at 103 with 59 seconds left in regulation. Walker knocked down a long fade away jumper to put Charlotte back on top, but Williams quickly answered with a 20-footer to knot the score again with 26.8 seconds left.
Williams fouled Walker on purpose with 7.8 seconds left then the Bobcats called timeout to set up an inbounds play. The ball slipped out of Walker's hands as time expired and he never got a shot off, sending the game to overtime.
Josh McRoberts slam dunk to open overtime gave the Bobcats a 109-108 lead. Then Douglas-Roberts and Johnson traded trey balls before Walker hit a jump shot over Williams to push the lead to three.
Shaun Livingston missed a driving layup at the 35 second mark and the Bobcats were able to collect the rebound. McRoberts found himself driving to the basket again but was rejected by Mason Plumlee.
The ball would land twenty feet down the baseline into the hands of a waiting Douglas-Roberts who calmly knocked down a quick jump shot which proved to be the dagger for the visiting Nets.
The win puts Charlotte just 1 1/2 games behind the Washington Wizards for the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference Playoff race and three games behind Brooklyn for the fifth spot.
It also gives the Bobcats a three game cushion on the Atlanta Hawks, who are clinging to the eighth spot after being thumped by the Minnesota T-Wolves 107-83 on Wednesday night.
Charlotte will now head to Orlando to take on the Magic on Friday night before returning home to face the Wizards on Monday.