Without Devin Harris, the New Jersey Nets managed to come away with something of a moral victory.
Their victories in Charlotte are frequently real.
Playing without their starting point guard again, the Nets seek to continue their road success against the struggling Bobcats on Friday night.
Harris will miss his second consecutive game due to a knee sprain suffered when teammate Kris Humphries fell on him during the third quarter of Tuesday's 111-100 loss to New York. His absence leaves the Nets (6-13) without their second-leading scorer (17.7 points per game) and their assist leader (6.6).
Jordan Farmar filled in admirably in his first start of the season Wednesday, scoring 28 points and dishing out nine assists. New Jersey took Western Conference contender Oklahoma City to triple overtime before falling 123-120.
Despite losing for the fourth time in five games, Farmar and the Nets came away feeling they're headed in the right direction.
"You don't ever want to lose, but you've got to continue to move on and grow up from the experience," Farmar told the team's official website. "I think we can do that. If we can do that, this will turn into a positive.
"We're a ball bounce away from getting some of these wins, so we've got to keep fighting."
Farmar, averaging 9.6 points and 4.6 assists, will likely run the point again. However, he struggled in an 85-83 home loss to the Bobcats (6-12) on Nov. 3, making 1 of 6 shots and finishing with five points.
New Jersey has won seven of its last 11 visits to Charlotte, including the most recent - 103-94 on Feb. 16.
If the Nets are to earn another victory there and snap their overall six-game road losing streak, Brook Lopez will likely be key. The center had 28 points and 11 rebounds Wednesday following a season-high 36-point performance against the Knicks. He leads the Nets with 19.7 points per game and is second behind Humphries (8.7) with 6.4 rebounds.
The Bobcats have won three of four at home after dropping their first four games of the season in Charlotte. They're trying to avoid a third straight loss overall, though, after falling 89-73 at New Orleans on Wednesday. They scored four points over the final 9:04, and coach Larry Brown isn't seeing improvement.
"It's the same old, same old," Brown said. "We didn't match their intensity. They made every play and we didn't."
Having Stephen Jackson back could help.
Jackson is returning from a one-game suspension for verbally abusing an official and failing to leave the court in a timely manner following his ejection from Saturday's 104-101 loss at Milwaukee.
Jackson leads the Bobcats with 18.1 points per game, but hit just 2 of 12 shots for 12 points against the Nets last month.