NEW YORK – Mikhail Prokhorov saw the draining team spirit, the missing will to fight, and decided change was needed.
The Brooklyn Nets owner had to like the results in the first game under P.J. Carlesimo.
The Nets gave their interim coach a victory in his debut and the Charlotte Bobcats a 17th straight loss, getting 26 points and 11 rebounds from Brook Lopez in a 97-81 rout Friday night.
A day after firing Avery Johnson, the Nets played as they did last month, when they were 11-4 and Johnson was Eastern Conference coach of the month. They are just 4-10 in December, a slump that cost Johnson his job, but got back over .500 with ease.
It’s hard to be confident when you’re not enjoying success. So I think you have to play your way out of it, shoot your way out of it and I thought we did that tonight, Carlesimo said.
Deron Williams added 17 of his 19 points in the first half and Joe Johnson had 16 for the Nets, who led by 29 points and won for just the second time in seven games.
Hakim Warrick scored 13 points and Ramon Sessions had 12 for the Bobcats (7-22), who shot 38 percent and haven’t won since tying last season’s victory total.
HAWKS 102, CAVALIERS 94: In Cleveland, Jeff Teague scored a career-high 27 points and Atlanta scored the game’s final nine points.
Teague’s jumper from the foul line gave the Hawks a 95-94 lead with 2:32 remaining to spark the late run and send Atlanta to its third straight win.
Kyrie Irving led Cleveland with 28 points.
WIZARDS 105, MAGIC 97: In Washington, Jordan Crawford scored 27 points and worst-in-the-NBA Washington showed it can still win a game every once in a while, breaking an eight-game losing streak.
Nene added season highs of 23 points and 11 rebounds as Washington won by its largest margin of the season.
PISTONS 109, HEAT 99: In Auburn Hills, Mich., Will Bynum had 25 points and 10 assists, leading another spirited performance by the Detroit bench to overcome 35 points by Miami’s LeBron James.
Miami was without Dwyane Wade, suspended for a game by the NBA for flailing his leg and making contact with a Charlotte player Wednesday.
RAPTORS 104, HORNETS 97, OT: In New Orleans, DeMar DeRozan scored 30 points, Kyle Lowry had two big baskets in overtime to lift Toronto.
The Raptors, who never trailed in the second half, scored nine of the first 11 points in overtime after blowing a seven-point lead in the last 1:30 of regulation.
NUGGETS 106, MAVERICKS 85: In Dallas, Daniro Gallinari scored a career-high 39 points and Denver spoiled Dirk Nowitzki’s first home game since returning from knee surgery.
Nowitzki had five points in 17 minutes in his third game back.
SPURS 122, ROCKETS 116: In San Antonio, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili combined to score 84 points, and San Antonio snapped the Houston’s five-game winning streak.
Parker had 31 points and 10 assists, Duncan had 30 points and five rebounds, and Ginobili had a season-high 23 for San Antonio.