CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 6 (Ticker) --
Coach Bernie Bickerstaff
told the Charlotte Bobcats to settle down and relax. By doing
so, they made history.
The expansion Bobcats won for the first time, defeating the
Orlando Magic, 111-100 behind 20 points and 10 rebounds from
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"These young men deserve this," Bickerstaff said. "They played
hard. We made plays when we had to make plays."
Guard Jason Hart
, who had the best game of his career, presented
the game ball to Bobcats owner Bob Johnson at the end of the
"I was very pleased," Johnson said. "It showed a lot of class."
Bickerstaff said his players were too excited and
hyperventilating during their opening night loss to Washington
and urged them to take it easy as the season progresses.
Charlotte (1-1) held Orlando without a basket for more than 4
1/2 minutes late in the second quarter to take 49-42 halftime
lead. The Magic shot just 28 percent (11-of-28) from the field
in the opening two periods.
"We definitely overlooked this team," Magic guard Steve Francis
said. "When you overlook teams, these are the results you will
The Bobcats kept up the intensity with a 15-2 run to start the
third quarter, highlighted by an alley-oop pass from Hart
to Gerald Wallace
, whose one-handed dunk made it 64-44. He
scored 18 points and Hart added 14 and 11 assists, both career
"Coach told me, 'As far as energy goes, how you go is how the
team goes,'" Wallace said. "So I tried to come out in the
second half and give it my all. I just laid my body on the line
and did what I had to do to help my team win."
got the better of Dwight Howard
in their first
matchup as the top two picks in June's draft. Okafor, selected
second after the Magic chose Howard, had 12 points and 14
rebounds while Howard managed five and 12.
"I was a little overanxious tonight," Howard said. "Our
intensity wasn't there until the fourth quarter. Hopefully, we
won't continue to have games like this."
"It was the Bobcats vs. the Magic, that's what it was," said
Okafor, downplaying the matchup. "Dwight played an excellent
game. He really impressed me out there. He's going to be an
Guard Steve Smith
added 14 points off the bench for the Bobcats
and teamed with Brevin Knight
to provide a calming influence on
the young team.
"To be that veteran they look to and to get a chance to win it
with them and get to be part of that first victory for the
franchise, it was good for me," Smith said.
Francis, who hit game-winning buckets in Orlando's first two
contests, fouled out with just nine points. The Magic (2-1)
failed in a bid to open with three straight wins for the first
time since 1993.
Orlando's Cuttino Mobley
scored 17 of his 23 points in the
fourth quarter before fouling out in the final minute.