NEW YORK (AP) — Deron Williams had 32 points and six assists, and the Brooklyn Nets strengthened their hold on fourth place in the Eastern Conference by beating the Charlotte Bobcats 105-96 on Saturday night.
Brook Lopez added 19 points and backup Andray Blatche had 16 as the Nets completed a four-game sweep of the NBA-worst Bobcats.
Brooklyn moved 1 1/2 games ahead of Chicago for the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
Ben Gordon scored 27 points and Gerald Henderson had 22 for the Bobcats.
Brooklyn’s nine-point lead in the fourth quarter was trimmed to 95-94 with 2:44 left after Gordon hit a pair of 3-pointers. After the Nets called timeout with 2:30 left, Gordon missed another 3-point attempt that would have given the Bobcats the lead.
Williams led Brooklyn’s 11-2 run that eventually closed out the game, hitting a 9-foot jumper that made it 97-94 with 1:19 left. Williams then made six free throws sandwiched around a pair of free throws from Reggie Evans.
Evans had 10 points and 20 rebounds for the Nets, who have six games remaining. They are off until Tuesday, when they host the Philadelphia 76ers before playing at Boston on Wednesday night. They visit Indiana on Friday and face three teams below .500 in their last three games.
Gordon came off the bench to make 6 of 11 3-pointers for the Bobcats, who have lost two straight and seven of their last 11.
Gordon and Jannero Pargo, whose second 10-day contract expired earlier this week and was signed for the rest season, combined for 24 of Charlotte’s 31 points in the second quarter to give the Bobcats a 54-53 lead at halftime.
Notes: Joe Johnson had 15 points for the Nets and made only three of his 10-point attempts. — Blatche scored 12 in the second quarter while Lopez rested.
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