CHARLOTTE, N.C., Oct. 22 (Ticker) --
Bernie Bickerstaff had
been hoping the Charlotte Bobcats would learn to finish off
victories. On Friday, his wish came true.
Primoz Brezec and Steve Smith scored 11 points apiece and the
expansion Bobcats forced the Portland Trail Blazers into 29
turnovers en route to a 69-63 victory.
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It marked the first win in five games for the NBA's newest
Brezec, a native of Slovenia who played 62 games in three
seasons with the Indiana Pacers, also had 13 rebounds.
Portland made 10-of-17 shots in the first quarter as it took a
26-17 lead. But the Trail Blazers shot a woeful 20 percent
(9-of-44) over the final three quarters. They scored just six
points in the third quarter.
Charlotte, which had lost its last three games by 59 points,
took the lead for good when first-round pick Emeka Okafor hit a
jumper with 8:41 left for a 52-50 lead.
Okafor scored eight points in 35 minutes.
Derek Anderson scored 13 of his 22 points in the first quarter
for Portland. Zach Randolph added 13 points.