Published March 24, 2010
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Brook Lopez had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and New Jersey Nets moved a step closer to avoiding a dubious date with NBA history by beating the Sacramento Kings 93-79 on Wednesday night to snap an eight-game losing streak and a franchise-record, 14-game skid at home.
Devin Harris added 24 points and nine assists for the Nets (8-63), who need to win once in their last 11 games to avoid breaking the league mark for fewest wins in a season (9-73), set by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1972-73.
Nets interim coach Kiki Vandeweghe guided the team despite learning of the death of his mother, former Miss America Colleen Kay Hutchins, earlier in the day.
Beno Udrih had 19 points for the Kings, who lost the eighth time in 11 games.
The victory also came two days after Nets chief executive Brett Yormark had an exchange with a fan who wore a paper bag over his face during a loss to the Miami Heat.
On Wednesday, the fans wore smiles and had a lot to cheer about.
Sacramento played its third straight game without guard Tyreke Evans, who leads all rookies with 20.3 points per game.
The Nets turned 15 turnovers into 13 points with a transition game that has been absent most of the season.
New Jersey took the lead for good late in the second quarter when a steal and dunk by Chris Douglas-Roberts ignited a nine-point run that gave the Nets a 41-35 lead on a dunk by Lopez.
Leading by four points at the half, Harris and Yi Jianlian scored five points apiece in a 10-2 spurt that pushed the lead to 57-47.
The lead was still nine points entering the fourth quarter and the Nets turned this one into a rare laugher when Douglas-Roberts sandwiched two free throws and a basket around a 3-pointer by Keyon Dooling for a 77-61 lead.
Nets rookie Terrence Williams missed the game with a left foot injury.
NOTES: Sitting in the front row, former New York Giants punter Sean Landeta caught a loose ball in the first half. ...The Kings are 2-6 without Evans. ...The Nets celebrated Jewish Family Night. It coincided with an appearance by the Kings' Omri Casspi, the only Israeli player taken in the first-round of the NBA draft. New Jersey also announced it will play Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Super League in a preseason game on Oct. 3 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.