SALT LAKE CITY, Feb. 1 (Ticker) -- Brevin Knight
and Gerald Wallace
rallied the shorthanded Charlotte Bobcats to a rare road
Knight and Wallace combined for 21 points in the fourth quarter
to help erase an 11-point deficit as the Bobcats posted just
their second road win, a 109-105 triumph over the struggling
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Owners of the worst road record in the league at 2-19, Charlotte
was without star rookie forward Emeka Okafor
, who was placed on
the injured list due to a sprained left ankle suffered late in
Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Lakers.
"This is just really good for the guys, just to reach down and
compete when you're undermanned, and that's what this team does
all the time," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff
said. "It's a
terrific win for them, against a basketball team that we pattern
the way we like to play basketball."
Thanks to 12 points from Gordan Giricek
in the third quarter,
the Jazz built an 11-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
But Utah's defense broke down in the fourth, as Knight scored
eight points in a 17-8 spurt which was capped by Melvin Ely
a three-point play that knotted the game at 101-101 with 2:41
"We just wanted to run at them in the fourth," Knight said. "We
knew we were small inside, that we were short on inside guys. We
just wanted to push the break, we wanted to get out there and
let our wings get inside and create as much as we could, and
then we could take our chances."
Wallace, who scored a career-high 28 points, sank two free
throws on the Bobcats' next possession to give them their first
lead since the second quarter.
, who collected a season-high 27 points and a
career-high 10 assists, gave Utah the lead again with a
three-point play. But a steal by Wallace set up a lefthanded
hook by Ely with 1:05 left to play.
Kirilenko and Knight traded free throws and Utah's Carlos Boozer
missed a layup before Jason Hart
split a pair at the line with
15 seconds left, giving the Bobcats a 107-105 lead.
"They really burned us coming down the stretch," Jazz coach
said. "They did a terrific job playing the
pick-and-roll and getting what they wanted out there, and we
couldn't seem to do anything. They made their shots and scored
on almost every possession as they came down the stretch."
Giricek, who scored a season-high 21 points, missed a wide-open
three-pointer with less than 10 seconds left as Utah dropped its
The game was physical on both ends, and both teams took
advantage of it on the foul line. A total of 96 free throws were
shot, including 33 in the third quarter alone.
Without Okafor's presence, it was Wallace who stepped up his
inside game, repeatedly drawing fouls as he hit 14-of-17 free
throws and grabbed eight rebounds.
"He was terrific. What we asked him to do prior to the game was
go to the boards. Especially against Kirilenko Kirilenko likes
to block shots," Bickerstaff said. "[Wallace's] responsibility
was to go to the boards. He didn't settle for jump shots
tonight. He took the ball to the basket, and the referees
rewarded him for it."
"I think that's one of my strengths, getting into the open floor
running and just getting to the basket," Wallace said. "I think
the guys did a great job tonight getting me the ball out in the
open and letting me just run the floor."
The Jazz, who in the past month have beaten the Spurs, Suns,
Lakers and Sonics, continued to have trouble with the league's
lesser teams. Earlier in the season, they lost to previously
winless Chicago and New Orleans, and Tuesday night that trend
continued, losing to the expansion Bobcats in their first-ever
trip to the Delta Center.
"I don't really care if they have nine wins or 60 wins, this
team played hard," Kirilenko said. "We actually played hard,
too, but just not enough. I think we should have won the game in
the beginning of the fourth when we led by like 11 points, and
we just let it down."