Carroll scored all 16 of his points in the fourth quarter and
the Bobcats held on for a 101-89 win over the Utah Jazz on Friday
The Bobcats dominated early, but the Jazz whittled a 20-point
halftime to four with just over 4 minutes left. It started to feel
similar to both teams' performances two nights earlier, when the
Bobcats blew a 19-point lead and lost at New York, while the Jazz
came from 21 down in the fourth quarter to win in Atlanta.
But Carroll prevented both from happening again, and it started
with a bizarre play early in the fourth quarter.
Carroll, who hadn't attempted a shot in the first three
quarters, launched a 3-pointer from the right wing. Andrei
Kirilenko lunged at him and Carroll's follow-through hit him in the
mouth, chipping his tooth. The shot fell and Kirilenko was called
for the foul.
"It was hanging and he just grabbed it and threw it to the
ground," Carroll said. "I said to him, 'Are you OK?' and he said,
'It's just a tooth.' I'm thinking this guy is one tough Russian. I
thought he was going to break me the next time I came down court."
Carroll completed the 4-point play, then had a 3-point play with
3:14 left that gave Charlotte a 92-84 lead.
Carroll's deep 3-pointer with 50 seconds left put it away for
the Bobcats, who continued an unlikely trend of seemingly beating
only the NBA's elite. Charlotte has only seven wins, but four are
against division leaders Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando and now
Utah, which is 2-3 all-time against the NBA's newest team.
"If we made baskets, we wouldn't just be killing the giants,"
Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said of the team's season-long
Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 14 rebounds -- his league-leading
20th double-double -- and Mehmet Okur scored 19 points despite
playing through a bruised chest muscle for the Jazz, who couldn't
come from a 20-point deficit to win for the third time this season.
"I was disappointed with the way we started the game. They did
a terrific job of just waxing us," Utah coach Jerry Sloan said.
The Jazz managed just 13 points in the first quarter and fell
behind 29-15 early in the second as Okafor and Brezec had their way
Sloan called two timeouts and picked up a technical foul midway
through the second quarter, but it didn't help. Okafor's dunk with
2:57 left gave the Bobcats' their first 20-point lead and it was
53-33 at halftime.
"We always play the same scenario," Kirilenko said. "We seem
to relax in the beginning. We need to play more consistent."
The Jazz chipped away at the deficit in the third quarter, and
Matt Harpring hit three straight shots to start the fourth quarter
to cut the deficit to 78-70.
Charlotte was leading 59-42 when Brevin Knight, who returned
after missing four of the previous six games, left after
aggravating a groin strain. Knight, who had seven points and nine
assists, said he plans to a see specialist next week and will
likely miss at least a week.
That left Felton, who shot 5-for-19, as the only true point
guard, but Charlotte had only 13 turnovers.
"We dug another hole and couldn't come out of it," said Jazz
guard Deron Williams, who shot 2-for-9 in the first half. "I don't
know what it is. I have no clue. We've got to stop it."
Okur and Charlotte's Jake Voskuhl were each given technical
fouls late in the third quarter after some light shoving under the
basket. Dick Bavetta, one of the officials who worked the
Nuggets-Knicks brawl last week, separated the two. ... Bickerstaff
said he complained to the league that New York never had clear
possession and shouldn't have been granted a timeout with 0.1
seconds left in the second overtime on Wednesday night, setting up
David Lee's winning tip-in at the buzzer.