One down, one to go. The Nets, led by 25 points from Paul Pierce, claimed a 105-89 victory over the Bobcats inside Barclays Center Wednesday night to win the front half of their back-to-back to close the first half of the season that will conclude Thursday night in Chicago. “It’s huge,” Pierce said of Thursday’s game. “Actually, I just looked when we were in the back, and if we win tomorrow, we move up a spot. There’s a big difference between being in seventh spot and moving up to the third spot. … I think we’re only a couple games from the third spot. “Every game is crucial at this point. It can mean you going from the eight seed all the way to the three seed. Each and every week you’re going to see the standings, and it’s going to move up-and-down, and every game is important for us.” To Pierce’s point, the win for the Nets (24-26) kept them three games behind Toronto for first place in the Atlantic Division and the third seed overall, while allowing them to gain ground on the idle Bulls in fourth, the Hawks in fifth and to move into a tie with the Wizards in sixth. The Nets will get another chance to try to reverse their season-long struggles in second halves of back-to-back games, as they headed to Chicago ahead of the impending snow storm early Thursday morning hoping to improve on their 2-9 record in those games — as well as to avenge a blowout loss to the Bulls in Brooklyn on Christmas Day. “It would mean a lot. It’d be a confidence booster going into the West Coast trip [after the All-Star Break],” Joe Johnson said. “This is a team that came into our house and pretty much handled us. We definitely want it.” Beating the Bobcats allowed the Nets to continue their dramatic turnaround since the start of 2014, with their record now at 14-5 since the year began after picking up wins in four of their last five games.
Pierce leads Nets to easy win over Bobcats
New York Post | Feb 13