Corey Maggette had 24 points and Gerald Henderson added 15 for the Bobcats, who've now lost five straight and 21 of their last 22.
The Nets trailed by eight at halftime but took the lead thanks to Deron Williams, who scored 22 points in the third quarter when he simply dominated Charlotte's smaller guards D.J. Augustin and Kemba Walker.
Deron Williams did just about everything right, adding six rebounds and seven assists. He also converted a four-point play after getting fouled while knocking down a 3-pointer from the wing.
With the Nets leading 96-94 with 1:04 remaining, Kris Humphries missed two free throws but Shelden Williams got a key momentum-turning rebound and called timeout. Deron Williams hit a big jumper to give the Nets a four-point lead and Shelden Williams followed by converting a three-point play off a pretty pass from Jordan Farmar.
The Bobcats would cut the lead to two with 3.5 seconds left, but MarShon Brooks knocked down one of two free throws with 1.7 seconds left. The Bobcats had a final chance to tie the game but Augustin's off-balanced heave from 20 feet didn't hit the rim.