Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/27

Game 1: Saturday, November 27th
Game 2: Saturday, January 15th
Game 3: Monday, April 11th
Game 4: Wednesday, April 13th

Hawks 84

(12-66, 3-36 away)

Bobcats 105

(17-61, 13-26 home)

    7:00 PM ET, April 13, 2005

    Charlotte Coliseum, Charlotte, NC

    1 2 3 4 T
    ATL 18 22 19 2584
    CHA 32 33 24 16105

    Top Performers

    Atlanta: J. Smith 20 Pts, 14 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Charlotte: E. Okafor 17 Pts, 11 Reb, 1 Stl, 3 Blk

    Loss drops Hawks into 'lottery race' with Hornets

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- One glance at the Charlotte Bobcats opening day roster made it easy to predict they would be the worst expansion team ever.

    So they set out to prove otherwise. In the process, they guaranteed themselves of not even having the worst record in the NBA at the end of the season.

    Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday night to lead Charlotte to a 105-84 victory over Atlanta and assure the Bobcats of finishing higher than the Hawks in the final standings.

    "The more wins we have, the more we can make the people look bad who said we wouldn't win more than nine games this year," said Melvin Ely, who scored 16 points for Charlotte. "Now we want to get 20 wins and we won't stop trying to get there."

    Charlotte won for the 17th time this season and moved five games ahead of Atlanta (12-66) with just four games to play.

    "We're still motivated, you can see that in our body language and how hard we play every night," Okafor said.

    The loss assured the Hawks of having the most chances for the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft lottery. Atlanta will have 250 of 1,000 chances to get the top selection when the league draws to set the order of the June 28 draft.

    The next team will have 199 chances, but the Bobcats and New Orleans Hornets -- Charlotte's former team -- are still jockeying for that position.

    Despite the lopsided loss, Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said the Hawks have not hit rock-bottom.

    "I can't explain it, we just played this team two nights ago and their energy level was so much better than ours," Woodson said. Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans and Malik Allen each scored 12 points for the Bobcats and Jason Hart and Matt Carroll both had 11.

    Josh Smith had 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, while reserve Tony Delk had 16 and Josh Childress added 12.

    Charlotte tried to prove it is a better team than Atlanta -- the Bobcats beat the Hawks in three of their four meetings this season, including Monday night's 110-105 victory in overtime -- from the opening tip.

    "I guess they wanted it more than us," Smith said. "We didn't match their intensity and they blew us out from the start."

    The Bobcats scored on their first 10 possessions and continued to roll to their largest margin of victory of the season.

    Charlotte went up 65-38 late in the second quarter for their largest lead of the season, then kept building on it. The Bobcats went up by 30 points three times in the third quarter.

    "We looked over at the scoreboard and couldn't believe we were up by 30," Wallace said. "We thought maybe it was on the wrong side."

    Atlanta was able to cut it to 23 points in the fourth quarter, but never got any closer.

    Game notes

    Woodson insisted before the game the Hawks weren't intentionally trying to lose for a shot at the No. 1 pick. "We are not throwing games by any means," he said. ... Charlotte center Primoz Brezec is out at least seven days with a foot injury, but badly wants to return before the season finale next Wednesday. ... Carroll hosted a local Charlotte boy whose father recently died. The boy got courtside seats, plenty of team gear and a postgame meeting with Carroll. Carroll was signed out of the NBDL midway through the season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 84 105
    FGM-FGA 30-74 (.405) 37-69 (.536)
    3PM-3PA 3-9 (.333) 4-11 (.364)
    FTM-FTA 21-27 (.778) 27-32 (.844)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 11-33 11-41
    Assists 14 29
    Turnovers 17 16
    Steals 8 10
    Blocks 4 10
    Fast Break Points 6 9
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 26 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 2 30

    Top Performers

    Josh Smith Smith
    Points: 20
    Reb: 14
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Emeka Okafor Okafor
    Points: 17
    Reb: 11
    Ast: 0
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 3