Rush, Wallace Power Bobcats Past Knicks
Charlotte 108, New York 95
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 23 (Ticker) -- Continuing his strong play of late, Kareem Rush took the Charlotte Bobcats halfway to victory. Gerald Wallace returned to finish the job.
Rush scored 18 points in the first half and Wallace chipped in 19 over the final two quarters to spark the Bobcats to a 108-95 victory over the New York Knicks.
"I'm just getting comfortable," Rush said. "My teammates and my coaches want me to shoot the ball, so I am getting comfortable fitting into that role. We're playing really well, and we want to continue doing this."
Wallace had missed six games with a right wrist injury and played with a wrap on the wrist, which did not affect his outside shooting. He hit a pair of 3-pointers to open the second half and scored nine of Charlotte's first 13 points to make it 67-55 with 7:37 left in the third period.
"He's 'Change-the-game Gerald,'" Rush said. "That's what I want to call him now. He gets a steal for a dunk almost every game, and he's the type of guy who wants to lay it on the line for you, just diving, making blocked shots and making steals. We're happy to have him back."
Wallace's five 3-pointers in eight attempts both were career highs. He was just 1-of-4 from the arc coming into the game.
"I was feeling like Kareem Rush out there," Wallace said. "I made the first one, and I was willing to shoot the second one. The second one went in, so I said, well, keep shooting until you miss. Obviously in their scouting report it didn't say anything about my 3-point shooting."
Charlotte extended its lead to 84-62 after Wallace fed rookie guard Raymond Felton for a 3-pointer with 2:10 to go.
"Those guys (Bobcats) came out and scored a bunch of 3-pointers," New York guard Stephon Marbury said. "They converted a lot off of hustle points as well. We just weren't very good tonight."
"Everybody was active and shared the ball and were able to knock down some shots," Charlotte forward Emeka Okafor said. "We just wanted to come out and play hard."
The Knicks cut the deficit to 86-75 three minutes into the fourth quarter with a 12-2 run that included back-to-back 3-pointers by Quentin Richardson. But Wallace had the answer, hitting consecutive shots from the arc to rebuild the lead to 98-79 with 5:39 to play.
Wallace scored 24 points and also added nine rebounds, four assists, three blocks and two steals. It marked the third time in six games played that he scored 24 or more points.
"He brings offensive boards, steals and dunks," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "He's a guy you don't really have to call any plays for. You appreciate players like that."
Rush added 22 points and Okafor 19 and 11 rebounds for Charlotte, which improved to 3-3 at home.
Marbury had 21 points and eight assists but committed six of New York's 22 turnovers, leading to 29 points for Charlotte.
The Bobcats outrebounded the Knicks, 43-33, and grabbed 21 offensive boards, leading to 22 second-chance points.
"You can't keep turning the ball over like we do and you can't get beat on the offensive boards as badly as we do and have a chance to win on the road," New York coach Larry Brown said.