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Posted Dec 12 2006 10:50PM
The Charlotte Bobcats' first win this season came against the Cleveland Cavaliers, but they may have trouble making it two in a row.
After three straight routs, the Bobcats look to avoid a season high-tying fourth loss in a row when they meet the Cavaliers at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday.
Charlotte (5-15) began the season with consecutive losses before beating Cleveland 92-88 on Nov. 4 for its first win in eight tries against them. LeBron James had averaged 34.0 points in his last three meetings against the Bobcats, but scored just 16 on a season-low 23.1 percent (3 of 13) shooting from the field.
Since then, Charlotte has just four wins in 17 games. During their current slide, the Bobcats have scored an average of 74.0 points per game and has been outscored by nearly 27 points.
On Friday, Charlotte set a franchise-record for largest margin of defeat with a 92-62 loss to Houston. Two nights later, the Bobcats matched the mark with a 114-84 loss to Phoenix
``We were real stagnant offensively as far as movement. We're not sharing the basketball,'' Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. ``We lack confidence as a basketball team.''
Sean May scored a career-high 26 points and added 10 rebounds for his fifth career double-double for the Bobcats. But rookie Adam Morrison continued to struggle, however, shooting 1-for-8 from the field and finishing with three points.
The third overall pick in the draft and Eastern Conference rookie of the month for November, is averaging 6.8 points per game in five December games - down from 15.3 ppg the previous month.
Though they're tied with Philadelphia for the fewest wins in the East, Bickerstaff told the Bobcats' official Web site they're not close to acquiring former MVP Allen Iverson from the 76ers.
``It didn't even come into play. So there is no response to that,'' Bickerstaff said. ``Our situation with (Sixers President) Billy King was that we will be happy to be a facilitator if there is anyway that we can. If it would benefit us some way, if we could help them, then we would be happy to be a facilitator.''
Charlotte may get some veteran backcourt help though. Brevin Knight has missed consecutive contests with a strained right calf, but is expected back in the starting lineup according to the team's Web site. The point guard is fourth on the Bobcats in scoring with 12.5 ppg.
James is averaging 26.7 points - more than double any of his Cavaliers teammates - but he is coming off one of his worst games of the season. He tied a season-low with 15 points in the 95-89 loss to New Orleans on Monday, and Cleveland (12-8) is just 5-6 since a season-high five-game winning streak.
James said to become a championship-caliber team, the Cavaliers have to put all the pieces together.
``It's simple. We have to grow up. We have to execute,'' James said. ``We have the people to do it, its just a matter of coming together and doing it.''
Anderson Varejao scored 17 points while Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 15 along with 12 rebounds, but the Cavaliers were held to just 16 fourth-quarter points as they lost for the fifth time in six road games.
Cleveland may be without Drew Gooden for a third straight game as he is day-to-day with a strained left groin. He leads the Cavaliers with 8.7 rebounds and is third with 11.2 ppg.
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