Nets hope to avoid worst season ever

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. --- All the New Jersey Nets need in their final 12 games are two wins.

An unhappy fan endured the Nets' latest loss Monday. The Nets need two wins in 12 games to avoid setting a record for NBA futility. 
  Associated Press
Associated Press
An unhappy fan endured the Nets' latest loss Monday. The Nets need two wins in 12 games to avoid setting a record for NBA futility.

Though it sounds like a no-brainer task for most teams, the Nets aren't your ordinary team.

This is one looking to avoid the stigma of being the worst in NBA history.

New Jersey has a 7-63 record and have to win twice in the final 12 to avoid ending the 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers' 37-year stranglehold on the league's worst mark at 9-73.

The situation has gotten so tense that the team's chief executive got into a brief shouting match with a fan who wore a bag over his head at times during Monday night's 99-89 loss to the Miami Heat.

During the exchange, Brett Yormark pointed a finger at the fan before eventually walking away.

"Our fans have been great and they've stuck with us through a tough season," Yormark said in a statement Tuesday. "I did not agree with the way this person expressed his opinion of our team last night and I let him know."

What the Nets need are wins.

"Our sense of urgency is high now," said guard Courtney Lee, who just last year played in the NBA Finals with Orlando. "We have to get three wins because no one wants to go down in history in the way we are heading. We have to."

The Nets have lost eight consecutive games overall and a franchise-record 14 in a row at the Izod Center. In the loss to the Heat, starting small forward Terrence Williams sprained his left foot and ankle in the third quarter and had to leave the game. The rookie did not practice Tuesday, and his status for today's home game is questionable.

The good news is Sacramento is coming to New Jersey. The Kings are 3-7 in their past 10 games, and they will be without guard Tyreke Evans, who leads all rookies in scoring (20.3). Evans suffered a concussion in a recent loss to Milwaukee.

Sacramento is 7-28 on the road.

Of the 12 games left, the Nets have five against teams that are in the top eight in their conference and two games with Chicago (33-37), which is ninth in the East and fighting to make the playoffs.

This season's squad was stripped by management so it could have plenty of cap space for free agency this summer, a time when LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh might be on the market.

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