ORLANDO, March 24 (Ticker)
-- Gerald Wallace
made it back in
time to show the Charlotte Bobcats how to play the role of
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Wallace scored 22 points and was among five players in double
figures as the Bobcats posted their second win in four days over
the Orlando Magic, a 108-94 triumph.
Wallace, who scored 17 points against Phoenix on Wednesday after
missing seven games with a rib injury, helped spark a 12-2
fourth-quarter run that gave Charlotte a 95-84 lead with 3:36
does a great job of finding players where they
like the ball at and putting them in a great position to score,"
Wallace said. "Brevin was penetrating and kicking it out to
me. My main thing was making open shots."
The Bobcats had the early advantage with a 21-9 game-opening
burst, highlighted when Knight made a no-look, behind-the-back
pass to Primoz Brezec
for an easy layup. Knight had a near
triple-double with 15 points, 15 assists and a season-high eight
"I thought the poise at that point was good, and the 'Little
Man' had the ball," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff
got the ball moving, made the passes to the right people and we
made the shots."
Orlando gradually cut the deficit and took a brief lead when
rookie Dwight Howard
sank an eight-footer with 8:42 to go in the
third quarter to go in front, 60-59. Howard had 14 points and
"We tried to make it a half-court game as much as possible,"
Knight said. "They really got out on the break in the first
half Monday night and that's where they really hurt us. And
this was one of our better executing games from the defensive
and offensive ends."
Rookie Emeka Okafor
had 23 points and 10 rebounds, and Brezec
scored 20 points for Charlotte, which won its first road game in
22 tries against Eastern Conference teams.
Playing without leading scorer Steve Francis
, who served the
finale of a three-game suspension, the Magic (32-36) dropped
their ninth contest in 10 outings and fell 1 1/2 games behind
Philadelphia for the final playoff spot in the East.
The absence of Francis and the loss of Hedo Turkoglu
, who is out
for the season with a fractured left wrist, meant Orlando was
missing 35 points from its regular lineup.
"He (Francis) is our mad sky," Magic forward Pat Garrity
"He's our gun. You need your guns at this point of the season.
You've got guys playing in positions sometimes that they're not
scored 28 points, DeShawn Stevenson
season-high 23 and rookie Jameer Nelson
18 with a season-high 13
assists for the Magic, who are 1-3 under interim coach Chris Jent
"If you look at our roster and their roster, you'd bet on us,"
Stevenson said. "But they played with heart. They weren't
worried about the names of their backs. They came in and played