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Bobcats shoot way past Kidd's third consecutive triple-double

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Michael Jordan shows up and all of a sudden the Charlotte Bobcats can shoot, score and win.

Jordan, a part-owner in charge of all personnel decisions, played a rare active role with his struggling team on Tuesday. He went through the locker room and weight room before the game and met with coach Sam Vincent about 90 minutes before tipoff.

Then after the Bobcats' best offensive performance of the season in a 115-99 win over the New Jersey Nets, Jordan was back in the locker room congratulating the players and giving a brief pep talk.

"Always when we get a win he's happy," guard Raymond Felton said of Jordan, who did not speak with reporters. "He just came in and told us, 'Great job. Good win. That's the way you all should play.'"

Jordan's influence and Jason Richardson's 25 points allowed the Bobcats to overcome Jason Kidd's third consecutive triple-double to snap a three-game losing streak.

Gerald Wallace added 21 points and 11 rebounds and Emeka Okafor and Nazr Mohammed added 17 points apiece for the Bobcats, who shot 59 percent in their highest-scoring game of the season.

"We finally got everything clicking on all cylinders," Vincent said. "We hadn't had a chance to have one of those kind of games all year long, really."

The Nets had their five-game winning streak snapped despite Kidd's 13 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists. He became the first player since Detroit's Grant Hill 11 seasons ago to have three straight triple-doubles.

"The biggest thing that we should have found a way to win this game. We didn't defend," Kidd said. "The triple-double doesn't mean anything unless we win."

Richard Jefferson had 25 points and Vince Carter scored 17 on 5-of-15 shooting for the Nets, who struggled to defend inside in their worst performance in weeks.

It was a rare offensive outburst for the Bobcats, who sense their hopes at a first playoff berth in franchise history rest on putting together a winning stretch before they play 21 of 29 games on the road starting at the end of the month.

Jordan seemed to sense that with his pregame visit, mirroring his decision to practice with the team last month. The Bobcats immediately won two straight games only to lose seven of eight games after that.

"It's always good to have him around," Felton said of Jordan. "He's a guy who's a big part of basketball, period. Always when he's around, it helps out a lot."

Charlotte took control when Richardson scored 12 points in less than 2 minutes bridging the first and second quarters. Richardson hit a turnaround jumper, a 3-pointer, a baseline jumper, a fadeaway and a 3 while falling out of bounds off the sideline as the Bobcats took a 38-26 lead.

"We didn't show the effort that is required to win a game," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said.

With the Nets missing their first 10 3-point shots and their big men unable to contain Okafor inside, the Bobcats built a 54-33 lead on Jeff McInnis' jumper with 2:58 left.

Kidd then engineered a 12-2 run before Felton's 3 just before the halftime buzzer made it 59-45.

Unlike in the past two games when the Bobcats have given up big leads and lost -- including a 13-point lead in Friday's loss at New Jersey -- they didn't let the Nets back in thanks to blistering shooting.

Okafor made eight of nine shots and Mohammed was 7-for-8 as the Bobcats continued to pound the ball inside and relied less on 3-pointers, attempting only 11.

"It was definitely the most fluid it's been all season," Vincent said of the post play. "Emeka did a better job of sealing early and getting big. I thought our passers did a better job of looking for him and throwing the ball."

But it was Richardson and Wallace who continued to carry the Bobcats. It marked the sixth straight game they've each scored 20 or more points.

That offset the 10th triple-double of the season for Kidd and the 97th of his career as the Nets got no closer than nine points early in the fourth quarter, pleasing Jordan.

"He wants us to achieve better," Richardson said. "So we've got to keep on pushing."

Game notes
Vincent's pregame availability with the media was delayed while he met Jordan. "We're on the same page," Vincent said before listing a number of areas where they need to improve. "Playing harder on defense, blocking out so we're not giving up so many second-chance opportunities and being a little bit smarter on offense." ... Despite going through Tuesday's shootaround, Nets G Antoine Wright missed his eighth straight game with a sprained right ankle. ... Bobcats G Derek Anderson (right knee bruise) missed his second straight game and wasn't expected to travel on a two-game trip to Boston and Cleveland.