Wallace, Bobcats set scoring bests in win over Hawks

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Charlotte Bobcats guard Brevin Knight looked at Gerald Wallace's shooting numbers and thought of an NBA legend.

"He had 17 layups -- those are Wilt Chamberlain numbers," Knight said after Wallace scored 18 of his career-high 41 points in the fourth quarter of the Bobcats' 125-117 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Tuesday night.

Raymond Felton added 28 points and 10 assists, and he hit the clinching 3-pointer with 31 seconds left. Charlotte shot 57 percent, snapped a three-game losing streak and scored the most points in its two-year history.

Wallace hit 17 of 22 shots, almost all coming in the paint, including two alley-oop dunks in the final quarter to set a franchise record for points in a game. He scored six more than Kareem Rush had against Indiana on Nov. 16.

"They played him 1-on-1 for the most part and he's tough to guard," Knight said. "He attacks the basket."

Despite Wallace's big night, the Hawks had a chance to tie, but Zaza Pachulia missed a foul-line jumper with 52 seconds left. Felton, who missed Sunday's loss to Memphis with an abdominal injury, hit his fourth 3 from the right wing on the next possession to seal it.

Joe Johnson scored 35 points and Josh Smith added 20 points and 14 rebounds for the Hawks, who have lost five straight.

The game, matching teams with the league's worst record (Charlotte) and the fourth-worst (Atlanta), featured little defense. Wallace took the biggest advantage of the Hawks' soft interior, repeatedly beating defenders Marvin Williams and Smith on post moves before the Hawks switched to a zone.

"It's ridiculous. Our commitment to defense is awful," Atlanta coach Mike Woodson said. "We're not even trying to defend."

Williams was critical of his defensive performance but said Wallace had something to do with it.

"He's strong, he's got a lot of moves and he can definitely get off the floor," Williams said. "He scored a lot of points in the paint today, a whole lot of points. He's tough to guard."

Atlanta broke a tie by scoring the first four points of the fourth quarter to take its largest lead. Charlotte responded with a 9-2 run, capped by Wallace's alley-oop dunk, to go ahead 106-103 with 7:20 left.

After the Hawks cut the lead to one, Wallace had a three-point play and driving layup on back-to-back possessions to make it 117-111.

"With about two minutes left someone asked me if I was tired. I said I could go two more quarters, Wallace said. "It felt like every time I touched the ball it's going to go in the basket."

The Bobcats led by as many as 10 points in the first half and 11 in the third quarter despite being without center Primoz Brezec due to back spasms. Charlotte built an 85-74 lead on Jumaine Jones' transition layup off Wallace's block. But Atlanta rallied, tying the game on Smith's tip-in at the buzzer.

"Neither team seemed to have any kinship to defense," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said, before praising the offensive performance of both teams. "It was a fun game. Some of the plays are just phenomenal in terms of the athleticism."

Game notes
Woodson said guard Tyronn Lue, out since Feb. 7 with a sprained knee ligament, is still a few games away from returning. ... Longtime North Carolina radio voice Woody Durham sat courtside, watching former Tar Heels Felton and Williams. ... Woodson, a two-time All-American at Indiana, had little to say on the Hoosiers' decision to hire Kelvin Sampson as their new coach Tuesday. "I'm somewhat surprised, but I'm not the guy making the decisions," Woodson said.