The Charlotte Bobcats recorded a franchise first in their last game, and now they have a chance at another.
The Bobcats will try to beat San Antonio at home for the first time when they face the slumping Spurs on Monday.
Charlotte (16-24), in its fourth season in the NBA, defeated Memphis 105-87 on Saturday for its first-ever win over the Grizzlies. Now the Bobcats will take a shot at the Spurs (25-13).
Charlotte is 1-5 against San Antonio and 0-3 at home, having been outscored by an average of nearly 16 points in those three games. The Bobcats, however, have been strong on their own floor lately, matching a season high with three straight wins there.
Charlotte won a franchise-best five straight home games from Nov. 23-Dec. 18, 2004.
"I like the aggressive play that we have and the camaraderie among the team," swingman Jason Richardson said. "Everybody is starting to understand their roles offensively and defensively. Our defense is a whole lot better, our offense is a whole lot better ... and we're just being more aggressive."
The Bobcats have won three of four overall, and the 18-point win over Memphis was their biggest margin of victory this season. Richardson scored a season-high 38 points and Gerald Wallace added 28 for Charlotte, which bounced back from a 112-84 loss in New Orleans a day earlier.
"It shows a lot about this team," Wallace said. "We're playing great basketball right now. We had a tough loss yesterday ... but we forgot about it, had a quick turnaround and came out and got a win tonight."
The improving Bobcats could also be catching San Antonio at the right time as they try to earn their first home win against the Spurs. The depending NBA champions have dropped four of six overall and six of seven on the road, and are coming off Saturday's 83-81 loss at Houston.
Tim Duncan had 24 points and 17 rebounds for San Antonio, which has failed to reach the 90-point mark in three straight games.
"You put yourself in a position to win," said Duncan, who has averaged 22.2 points and 8.4 rebounds in five games against Charlotte, "but it didn't happen."
Wallace leads Charlotte with 21.5 points per game and has averaged 28.2 over his last six. However, he has averaged only 5.9 points in eight games against San Antonio - his lowest number against any opponent.
Richardson ranks second on the team with 20.3 points per game but has averaged only 15.0 points in 20 games against the Spurs - his fewest against any Western Conference team.
"They feed off each other - either one of them can have a 40-point night," coach Sam Vincent said of Wallace and Richardson. "I think they've gotten to the point where they're comfortable in their coexistence. They know they're both scorers and they're both going to get shots. I think our nucleus is starting to feel comfortable around them as well."
Charlotte is scoring just 95.5 points per game this season, but has reached triple digits in four of its last six games. The Bobcats, however, will be up a San Antonio team that leads the West with only 91.7 points yielded per game.
Saturday's defeat opened a road-heavy stretch of games for the Spurs, during which they play 12 of 14 away from San Antonio.
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