Wallace, Felton Lift Bobcats Past Hawks
Charlotte 125, Atlanta 117
CHARLOTTE, N.C., March 28 (Ticker) -- With the Charlotte Bobcats heading back to the lottery, high-flying swingman Gerald Wallace made a strong case that his position is something they do not have to worry about.
Wallace set a career and franchise high by scoring 41 points and rookie Raymond Felton added 28 and 10 assists as the Bobcats snapped their three-game losing streak with a 125-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
"He's very, very difficult to handle," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "They got him the ball in the right situations. It was a fun game. You saw some great athletes, young athletes, that the league is going to have to contend with as we move forward."
Charlotte led by as many as 11 points in the third quarter before Atlanta stormed back to take a 97-93 lead with 10:46 remaining behind Joe Johnson, who scored 35 points.
"I was exhausted out there," said Johnson, who made 15-of-24 shots. "I just do what I can for our team to get a win."
Felton drained a 3-pointer, Lonny Baxter scored on a fast-break layup and Brevin Knightfound Wallace for an alley-oop as the Bobcats rebuilt a 106-103 advantage with 7:20 left.
"Things just felt right tonight," said Wallace, who added four assists. "I'm not going to have one of these games every night, but I was glad that I was able to have one tonight that was able to help my team win. We came off some tough losses on the road where we could have easily won and to come home and get a win was big for us."
Hawks rookie Marvin Williams, who scored 14 points, made two free throws to close the deficit to one point, but Wallace scored Charlotte's next seven points for a 119-113 edge.
"This was one of those games that we needed to win to try to get over the hump," Wallace said. "I got it going, and my teammates kept feeding me the ball, and I was able to put it in the basket. I got great positioning in the paint all game and I was able to finish at the rim."
The Bobcats held a two-point edge following a pair of foul shots by Josh Smith before Felton provided some breathing room with his fourth 3-pointer for a 122-117 lead with 31 seconds remaining.
"It was great penetration by Brevin," said Felton, who made 4-of-5 from the arc. "And he kicked it to me and I took the shot. I've been confident shooting all season and now they're starting to fall for me."
Knight collected 14 points and 12 assists and Jumaine Jones contributed 11 and nine rebounds for Charlotte, which shot 56 percent (50-of-88) and set a club record for points.
"We had a lot of good performances form a lot of people tonight," said Knight, who added three steals. "To cap it off with a win is a great feeling. Hopefully this will springboard us to finish the rest of the season strong."
Smith had 20 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists and Josh Childress and Al Harrington scored 16 apiece for the Hawks, who shot 51 percent (42-of-81) but made just 4-of-17 3-pointers.
"It's ridiculous," said Atlanta coach Mike Woodson, whose team allowed 70 points in the paint. "Our commitment to try and defend is awful. We are not even trying to defend. We're scoring enough points. You're not going to beat a team giving up 125 points in this league."