CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The expansion Charlotte Bobcats nearly
gave up a late double-digit lead again. This time, they held on and
celebrated their third victory.
Reserve Eddie House scored 17 points and Emeka Okafor had 14
points and 10 rebounds for his fourth straight double-double,
leading the Bobcats to a 107-92 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on
The Bobcats (3-9) entered having blown double-digit leads in
four of their nine losses this season. But after watching their
13-point advantage cut to three early in the fourth quarter, the
Bobcats answered with a 10-0 run, started by Jason Hart at 9:39 of
Hart was fouled by Kenny Anderson, who was whistled for a
technical foul after arguing the call. Hart made both free throws
to complete a four-point play. Gerald Wallace completed the run
with a smooth drive through the lane for a layup.
"The expansion team stuff, that's over with," Wallace said.
"We know we can win. It's all been stupid mistakes that we're
making in the fourth quarter. We're beating ourselves. Out of the
nine losses we have, we have probably beat ourselves in six of
them. We know that it's us that is losing ballgames. It's not what
other teams are doing to us, it's what we're doing to ourselves."
The night before, the Bobcats led by as many as 17 before losing
82-77 to Indiana.
Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said his team plays not to lose
once it has a lead. That didn't happen Saturday night.
"We took our time and played within the confines of the
offense," Bickerstaff said. "What we did in the fourth quarter
tonight was instead of one pass and a shot, we were making two or
three passes. And late in a basketball game like that when a team
is tired, that is how you get easy baskets. You move the
Keith Bogans added 15 points for the Bobcats, who won their
third game -- all at home.
The Bobcats got some help promotional help for their
All-Star hopeful Okafor from Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve
Smith, who filled out names of Bobcats players on an enlarged
ballot. Smith was seated courtside with his young son. ... Also
sitting in the front row, a place he's accustomed to, was NASCAR
star Jeff Gordon. In fact, Gordon got quite a scare when Gerald
Wallace went after a loose ball near midcourt and hurdled Gordon in
an effort to save the ball. ... Atlanta entered the game averaging
87.8 points per game, second-lowest in the NBA.