Ely, Felton Lead Bobcats Past Sonics
Charlotte 119, Seattle 106
CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 5 (Ticker) -- Something about the Seattle SuperSonics brings out the best in Melvin Ely.
Ely scored 21 of his career-high 23 points in the first half and Brevin Knight contributed 15, nine assists and six steals as the Charlotte Bobcats posted an effortless 119-106 triumph over the Sonics.
"It's nice, but didn't really mean a lot," Ely said. "After these butt-kickings that we've had lately, the win means a lot more. I'm just happy to be on the court contributing."
Ely scored 13 points in the first quarter, helping Charlotte build a comfortable 34-22 advantage.
"We told (center) Robert Swift at the walkthrough this morning and tonight that Ely is going to take two dribbles to the middle and shoot a jump hook," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "And that's exactly what he did and he scored 21 points in the first half."
Rookie Raymond Felton scored 16 of his season-high 24 points in the first half, when the Bobcats shot 60 percent (29-of-48) from the field to take a 67-54 lead.
"We came out ready to play," said Charlotte forward Jumaine Jones, who scored 12 of his 23 points in the first half. "Melvin came in and established an inside presence for us. Once they went down and trapped him, it opened up the perimeter for our shooters."
Knight's three-point play with 7:06 in the third quarter pushed Charlotte's edge to 80-60. The Sonics never really challenged thereafter.
"Tonight we made shots," said Knight, who also grabbed seven rebounds. "That's the only way you're going to win. You can get shots and have open looks, but if you don't make them it's a waste."
"We've been working hard, playing hard and fighting hard and finishing hard," said Felton, who handed out nine assists. "It's time for us to get rewarded a little bit. I'm getting much better each and every day and getting more comfortable with our offense. Me and Brevin are a great 1-2 punch."
Bernard Robinson scored 16 points off the bench for the Bobcats, who shot 56 percent (47-of-83) overall and forced 18 turnovers.
"We shot like 57 percent for the game," Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "That's a different place for us."
Sharpshooter Ray Allen scored 31 points and Rashard Lewis added 18 for Seattle, which shot just 29 percent (5-of-17) from 3-point range and dropped to 0-3 on their four-game road trip. The Sonics are just 8-16 on the road this season.
"Our lack of concentration and defensive aggressiveness is hard to understand," Hill said. "I thought our gameplan was solid, but it just wasn't there. We dug ourselves a deep hole and just couldn't get out of it. It was ugly, just ugly. We were a step behind them all night."
The Bobcats led throughout for just the second time in franchise history. The first was Friday, a 112-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers which snapped their slide.
"We got two games in a row but we're still hungry," Jones said. "I was telling the guys that we were on a 13-game losing streak, so why can't we go on a 10-game winning streak. We've got a lot of guys that are really anxious to win, and we'll see how many we can put together."