ATLANTA, April 11 (Ticker) -- Keith Bogans
and Brevin Knight
expansion Charlotte Bobcats take a big step toward avoiding the
worst record in the NBA.
Bogans scored 21 points and Knight collected 17 and 10 assists
as the Bobcats ended an eight-game slide with a 110-105 overtime
triumph against the hapless Atlanta Hawks.
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Charlotte (16-61) is four games ahead of Atlanta (12-65) in the
"race" for the worst record in the league. A Bobcats' victory
over the Hawks in Charlotte on Wednesday would ensure that
Atlanta finishes with the NBA's worst record.
"What was this the ping-pong bowl or something?" Charlotte coach
said. "It's no guarantee if you have the
worst record. I think you lose all credibility when you talk
about if you are going to lose."
"Our goal was to get as many wins as possible and not be the
worst team in the NBA," Knight said. "We're just trying to prove
Failing in a bid to win back-to-back games for the first time
this season, Atlanta is in still in danger of becoming the just
the fifth team in league history to lose 70 games.
"We don't think about the 70 (losses)", said Hawks guard
, who collected 18 points and a career-high 14 assists. "If
we play hard and play together, we'll get some results."
The game was tied, 103-103, with 1:27 to go, when Gerald Wallace
hit a cutting Knight for a layup that gave Charlotte the lead
for good. Wallace added a jumper 40 seconds later to double the
advantage and Bogans sealed the victory with a fast-break layup
with just 33 seconds to play.
"We suffered a lot in the past in overtime," Bogans said. "It's
getting late in the season and we learned that we have to buckle
down and make stops."
Lue tied the game at 101-101 with a driving layup with 17
seconds left in regulation. Charlotte rookie Emeka Okafor
collected his 45th double-double on the season with 16 points
and 12 rebounds, missed a jumper from the left corner as time
"I thought it was good," said Okafor, who had 15 points and nine
rebounds after halftime. "It felt good. I knew it was coming
Atlanta jumped out to the early 26-11 lead as rookie
scored 10 of his 20 points in the opening quarter.
"We came out at the start doing well," Hawks rookie Josh Smith
said. "We were getting to the glass, hitting open shots, getting
to the paint and getting fouled."
Atlanta led, 78-70, with 1:52 to go in the third period but the
team let its guard down and allowed Charlotte to end the quaretr
with a 10-1 spurt.
"The thing that hurt us was the third quarter," Childress said.
"We were up by eight points with a minute and a half left and
they went up by one after the quarter. The positive is we are
getting better individually and as a team. We definitely want
to play them again. They'll be fresh on our minds."