Carlesimo, Nets hand Bobcats 17th straight loss
Carlesimo last coached his own team when he was fired by the Oklahoma City Thunder after a 1-12 start to the 2008-09 season. He previously had stints in Portland and Golden State, but said before the game he was a little more apprehensive than normal for his return to running his own club.
"Your head's spinning a little bit, you're trying to think of all the things that were second nature," Carlesimo said. "Hopefully I haven't forgotten. I'm old, but hopefully I haven't forgotten."
It was quickly obvious he had nothing to worry about.
The Bobcats missed 13 of their first 16 shots, making it easy for the Nets. Brooklyn scored nine straight in the middle of the first quarter to open a 12-point lead, extended it to 18 later in the period, and were ahead 33-15 headed to the second.
"It's tough. We can't put ourselves in that kind of position," Bobcats guard Kemba Walker said. "We don't have a lot of depth on our team to come back against great teams, but we do every once in a while, but we can't do that all the time. We dig ourselves in holes we can't get out of."
Williams, who missed Wednesday's game with a bruised right wrist and came into the game shooting under 40 percent for the season, was 7 of 14 from the field. Williams, who said recently that he preferred his old offense in Utah to Johnson's, acknowledged his confidence was down as he struggled to play the style that best suited the Nets.
"We came out with a lot more energy," Williams said. "I think we had to. I think our backs are against the wall right now."
The Bobcats have bigger problems. When it became obvious they had no hope of winning, coach Mike Dunlap lowered the team's goals.
"In the fourth quarter, just the fact that we had some guys that played hard. We played a little bit of zone and that for whatever reason stopped them and broke their rhythm," he said. "I just set a goal to keep them under 100 and then field goal percentage-wise, regardless of who was on the floor, I wanted them inside of 47 percent. Those were two short-term goals, even though the game appeared to be out of reach."
The Nets finished at 45 percent.
Lopez, the starting center whose seven-game absence with a foot injury started the Nets' downward spiral, was 9 of 12 and made all eight free throws.
Walker shot 2 of 10 and No. 2 overall pick Michael Kidd-Gilchrist was 1 of 6 for the Bobcats.
NOTES: Prokhorov said he plans to meet with Carlesimo on Saturday. The Nets host Cleveland on Saturday night. ... Charlotte lost its last 23 games in last season's 7-59 season.
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