CHARLOTTE, N.C., Dec. 4 (Ticker) --
The New York Knicks were
unable to reverse their fortunes in initial games in Charlotte.
Rookie Emeka Okafor
and Steve Smith
each scored 20 points and
dished out 18 assists as the Charlotte Bobcats
posted a 107-101 victory over the Knicks, who remained winless
in their first road game against expansion teams from Charlotte.
NBA TV highlights from |
After losing their first road matchup against the Charlotte
Hornets on Dec. 30, 1988, the Knicks were hoping their
inaugural meeting with the Bobcats would go differently. Jamal Crawford
did his part, scoring 27 points in the first half and a
season-high 41 overall.
"To be honest, my performance doesn't matter because we lost,"
Crawford said. "If we had won, then we would have a lot to talk
about. But unfortunately, we came up short."
After Okafor started strong by scoring 17 points before
halftime, Smith finished hot, scoring 16 in the second half --
including a 3-pointer with 2½ minutes remaining that gave the
Bobcats the lead for good, 99-96.
"As a veteran, I looked up and saw we were tied," said Smith,
who is in his 14th season. "You try to come and say, 'If I can
get an open (3-pointer), it would kind of put a dagger in it.'
The old fella just tries to contribute when I can."
"He hit big shots," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff
"We didn't expect to use him as much as we did. He's been
sitting for a while, so he had his legs tonight. It was an
appropriate time because with (Gerald) Wallace
out (with a
concussion), he was the next man up."
' jumper with 2:58 to play in the second quarter
gave New York a 48-47 lead, one they built to eight points on a
dunk by Mike Sweetney
with 38 seconds remaining.
The Knicks remained ahead until Smith sank a 3-pointer with a
minute to go in the third period.
Okafor gathered 18 rebounds and Primoz Brezec
scored 14 points
for Charlotte, which has won three in a row at home.
"It was a total team effort," said Okafor, who recorded his
sixth straight double-double. "Everybody contributed when they
"It was a good game," Smith said. "We played a complete game.
We haven't been completing games usually when we get a lead. We
all played good in the stretch and made big plays on both
had 10 points and 11 assists and Nazr Mohammed
down 17 boards for the Knicks, who fell to 2-6 on the road.
"It's tough playing against a team that plays extremely hard
like Charlotte," Marbury said. "This is our fourth game in five
nights. It's tough. Our legs are tired, and it shows."