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Wallace's 24 points, 9 boards pace Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Charlotte Bobcats knew they were
getting energy and increased defensive intensity with the return of
Gerald Wallace. They never expected the 3-point shooting, too.

Wallace returned from a wrist injury to score 24 points and grab
nine rebounds, leading the Bobcats over the New York Knicks 108-95
Wednesday night.

Kareem Rush added 22 points and Emeka Okafor had 19 points and
11 rebounds for the Bobcats, who won for only the second time in
nine games.

Wallace, who had missed six games with a chip fracture in his
right wrist, made three 3-pointers, blocked a shot and dunked on an
alley-oop pass from Brevin Knight as the Bobcats outscored the
Knicks 23-11 in the first seven minutes of the third quarter to
take a 19-point lead.

"I made the first one and I was willing to shoot the second
one," said Wallace, a career 24 percent 3-point shooter. "I said
I would keep shooting until I miss."

After the Knicks cut a 22-point deficit to 11 early in the
fourth quarter, Wallace put it out of reach by hitting consecutive
3s to make it 98-79 with 5:39 left.

"Obviously, in the scouting report, I'm sure it says he's not a
3-point shooter," Wallace said. "I don't think they were in any
hurry to run out there. I'm sure they thought the first one was
luck, the second one was luck. I mean, I thought the first one was
luck. But when they're falling, they're falling."

Wallace, who played with a wrap on his wrist, was 5-of-8 on
3-pointers. Known more as a slasher, Wallace had never attempted
more than four 3s in a game.

"We didn't expect Wallace to come and shoot like he did,"
Knicks guard Jamal Crawford said. "He hit some shots while we were
making a run, but we shouldn't have been in that position."

Stephon Marbury scored 21 points for the Knicks, who were held
without a field goal for more than five minutes in the third
quarter, and committed 22 turnovers.

It was the most points given up by New York since Larry Brown
became coach.

"Turnovers were huge, they got over 20 more shots than we
did," Brown said. "They killed us on the offensive boards. When
you take those things into consideration, you're going to have
problems."

The Knicks played without starting center Eddy Curry, who has a
strained left calf. With Jerome James still out with a hamstring
injury, Antonio Davis moved from power forward to center and
Maurice Taylor started at power forward.

With Melvin Ely also returning to the lineup after missing five
games with a sore left shin, it was the first time this season the
Bobcats were entirely healthy and they fed of Wallace's energy.

"I didn't expect the 3s. Don't make him feel too good about the
3s, but the energy is what he brings," Bobcats coach Bernie
Bickerstaff said. "Offensive boards, steals, dunks, and he's a guy
that you don't have to call any plays for. You appreciate guys like
that."

Game notes
Brown hinted Curry may also miss Saturday's game against
Philadelphia, saying he'll be cautious not to rush him back. ...
The Bobcats, in conjunction with local radio station WFNZ,
collected more than $13,300 and 2,000 turkeys from fans outside the
arena Wednesday. The proceeds will be donated to area charities.
... Brown, a North Carolina alumnus whose mother lives in
Charlotte, had high praise in his first trip to the city's new
arena. "It's great, it's in North Carolina," Brown joked. "They
did a good job incorporating it within the city."