PORTLAND, Ore., Feb. 4 (Ticker) --
Rookie Sebastian Telfair
fourth-quarter performance showed why many believed he was the
most talented point guard in last year's draft.
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Telfair scored 14 of his season-high 23 points in the final
period and Damon Stoudamire
also added 23 to lead the Portland
Trail Blazers to a 101-89 victory in their first meeting with
the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.
The Trail Blazers led almost the entire way and built their
largest lead at 75-59 with 9 1/2 minutes left on a pair of free
throws by Telfair, who was the 13th pick in the 2004 draft. But
the Bobcats rallied with an 18-6 run capped by a 3-pointer by
former Blazer Steve Smith
to close to 81-77 with 4:09 to go.
Playing for the struggling Nick Van Exel
, Telfair was 6-of-7
from the line in the fourth quarter, including three free throws
with 2:25 left to give Portland a 90-79 lead.
Stoudamire sealed the victory with six free throws in the final
48 seconds as Portland won consecutive games for the first time
since mid-December. The 19-year-old Telfair angered the Bobcats
when he drilled a long 3-pointer as time expired.
collected 17 points and a career-high 17 rebounds
and Melvin Ely
added 16 and 11 for Charlotte, which was trying
to win consecutive road games for the first time.
Playing without injured star rookie Emeka Okafor
, the Bobcats
lost for the 10th time in their last 11 road games.