CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 28 (Ticker) -- Kareem Rush
put a halt to
the Charlotte Bobcats' losing streak.
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Rush scored 21 points and led five players in double figures, as
the Bobcats ended their 10-game slide with a 101-94 victory
over the Toronto Raptors.
"Kareem stepped up and made some big shots," Charlotte coach
said. "But what was more important was they
got him the ball. They recognized that he had the hot hand."
The expansion Bobcats won for the first time since January 5
against Minnesota and raised their record to 9-30.
"It takes away the questions about ending the streak,"
Bickerstaff said. "We needed the win. It was a good win and it
was here at home. I thought the fans helped us emotionally.
It was a great way to start this road trip."
Charlotte, which has lost 18 of 19 road games this season,
begins a four-game western trip Sunday against the Los Angeles
"We didn't want to go out on the road with a loss," guard Jason Hart
said. "We've got four tough teams to play and this helps
our confidence because we're a young team."
Rush made back-to-back shots to start a 14-2 run at the
beginning of the fourth quarter that gave the Bobcats an 82-73
"We just wanted to go out there in the fourth quarter and play
our game," Rush said. "We wanted to take open shots, play good
defense and get up and down the court."
made a three-point play and Jalen Rose nailed a
3-pointer to bring Toronto within 88-85 with 3:25 left. But
Rush answered with a 3-pointer to give Charlotte a six-point
"We learned from our past mistakes," Rush said. "We've had
letdowns in the fourth quarter in the last few games. Tonight,
we stayed strong and did a good job of executing down the
stretch and making big plays."
scored seven consecutive Toronto points and Rose
hit a floater in the lane to cut the deficit to 97-94 with 31
seconds left before Hart closed the contest with four
consecutive free throws.
"They played hard for 48 minutes," Alston said. "If you play
hard for 30 minutes, you're going to get beat. They're a team
that even though they get beat, they're in the game every night.
You've got to match their intensity level. We didn't have our
intensity level as high as we need to be."
scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds and Hart
scored 15 points for the Bobcats, who also ended a six-game home
"We know that Kareem and (Jason) Kapono and those guys are going
to take shots," Brezec said. "And me and Emeka (Okafor
have to get good offensive rebounding position. When they know
that a guy is under there getting offensive rebounds, it's
easier to have confidence shooting."
Alston scored 20 points and Rose added 18 in his first start
since December 20 for Toronto, which fell to 3-20 on the road.
"We have to come out and have mental toughness," Toronto coach
said. "We have to come out and play every game and
every possession with passion and play with a chip on our
shoulder. Our team is who we have. We've got to stick with