Bobcats top Sixers for first-ever three-game streak

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- With three straight wins, the Charlotte
Bobcats suddenly have their longest winning streak in franchise

If there were any thoughts of celebrating, coach Bernie
Bickerstaff put a quick end to them.

Melvin Ely scored 15 of his 19 points in the second half
Wednesday night to help the Bobcats rally past the Philadelphia
76ers 100-92. As soon as the game ended, the public address
announcer congratulated the team on its winning streak, much to
Bickerstaff's dismay.

"We even announced it," he bemoaned. "You've got to act like
you expect to win. I think they need to leave (the streak) alone."

The mood was tempered anyway by Charlotte's latest injury.

Rookie guard Raymond Felton sprained his right ankle in the
fourth quarter when Michael Bradley rolled on the back of his leg.

Felton, the only Bobcats player to appear in every game this
season, had to be carried off the court. If it's serious, he'll
join leading scorer Gerald Wallace and leading rebounder Emeka
Okafor on an injury list that has been devastating to the Bobcats
this season.

"They say the X-rays are negative," Bickerstaff said. "But
every ... X-ray we've taken has been negative and all the guys have
been out."

The Bobcats, who snapped their team-record 13-game losing streak
by beating the Los Angeles Lakers and then the Seattle SuperSonics,
made it three in a row by coming back from 13 points down with
stifling second-half defense.

Philadelphia, which shot 63 percent in the first half, struggled
after the break. The Sixers were held to 31 points in the second
half and went 5-for-19 in the fourth quarter.

"We didn't drive the ball like we did in the first half,"
Philadelphia coach Maurice Cheeks said. "We shot all jump shots
and that allowed them back in the game and eventually win the game
because we didn't continue doing the things we were doing."

Seven Bobcats scored in double figures, including Felton, who
had 15 points before leaving with 11:03 to go. Jumaine Jones had 14
points and 14 rebounds, Kareem Rush had 13 points and Brevin Knight
had 13 points and 14 assists.

Primoz Brezec and Bernard Robinson each finished with 12 points.

"Tonight was a big win, hopefully we can continue to push
forward and finish this first half off well," Rush said. "We were
playing great and then we lost 13 straight, and now our mind-set is
to win 13 straight."

Allen Iverson and Kyle Korver led Philadelphia with 20 points
apiece. Chris Webber had 17 points and 12 rebounds, then kicked a
trash can on his way off the court, scattering garbage everywhere.

"In the first half, that was basketball," Webber said. "I
don't know what happened. I just don't understand it. Coach has
been preaching consistency all year. I'm really at a loss for

The Sixers led 61-49 at halftime, but Charlotte got a big third
quarter from Ely, who had 11 points and six rebounds in the period
to get the Bobcats back in the game. He first rallied them with a
free throw and consecutive hook shots to cut Philadelphia's lead to

"In the second half, (Bickerstaff) told me to get my head out
of somewhere," Ely said. "He told me he was going to keep looking
to me and finally some shots started to fall for me."

The Sixers used two quick baskets -- one by Iverson off his own
steal -- to push their lead back up to nine. But Charlotte reeled
off a 9-0 run while keeping Philadelphia scoreless for more than 3
minutes to tie the game at 72.

The Sixers answered with a 3 from Korver and a floater by
Iverson to go back on top and take a 78-76 lead into the fourth

That's when Charlotte completely took over and pulled away from
the cold-shooting Sixers.

"We stopped doing things that got us the lead, offensively and
defensively," Iverson said. "Mostly offensively."

Game notes
Bickerstaff was hit with a technical foul with 9 seconds to
play in the third quarter for yelling at the referees. ... The
Sixers have two players on the roster, Jamal Mashburn and Lee
Nailon, who were part of the Hornets during their best days in
Charlotte. Neither played against the Bobcats. ... Carolina
Panthers receiver Keary Colbert came to the game wearing Pittsburgh
Steelers safety Troy Polamalu's jersey. Both played at Southern