CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Gerald Wallace expected to be fired up to
play against the Sacramento Kings. Instead, he felt an overwhelming
letdown when the group that took the floor looked nothing like his
Still, Wallace had one of his best all-around games of the
season in leading the Charlotte Bobcats to a 94-87 victory over the
Kings on Tuesday night.
He finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and five steals
against the team that drafted him. He spent three seasons with the
Kings before they left him unprotected in the expansion draft.
"A lot of the excitement was down because a lot of the guys I
played with are gone or didn't play," Wallace said. "The feeling
wasn't there that I thought would be there. It didn't feel the
same. It didn't feel like the same team."
"We got a win," Wallace said. "Whether its them or some other
team, we came out with the win."
Wallace shot 7-of-12 from the floor -- pretty good considering he
sat out Charlotte's last game with a sprained wrist -- and had a
huge defensive rebound with the Bobcats leading 90-82 with 1:19 to
Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff wasn't all that pleased with
the victory, pointing to Sacramento's 48-40 rebounding advantage
and Charlotte's 18 turnovers.
"We got a victory and we needed one," he said. "But you can't
be satisfied with that unless you say 'On a bad night, we got it
Williamson, acquired last week in the trade for Chris Webber,
led Sacramento with 18 points and all three players acquired from
Philadelphia for Webber had decent games: Skinner had 15 points and
16 rebounds and Kenny Thomas had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
But Mobley (17 points) and Bibby (14) were off, combining to
shoot 12-of-29 with 14 turnovers.
"The three guys who we got played hard, but our two guards
really had a tough night," Kings coach Rick Adelman said. "You
are not going to go very far, especially with guys out and being
short-handed, if Cuttino and Mike have games like that."
All of Sacramento's problems helped Charlotte build a 55-45 lead
Charlotte was able to stretch its advantage to 17 points in the
third quarter, but the Kings cut it to six midway through the third
quarter at 66-60. But Charlotte closed the period with seven
consecutive points and Theron Smith's 3-pointer right before the
buzzer pushed the lead back to 73-60.
The fourth quarter got off to a slow start, but picked up in
intensity when former Bobcat Eddie House and Keith Bogans were
called for double technicals for jawing at each other while
jostling for position at the free throw line.
House started five games and averaged 23 minutes before the
Bobcats released him in December because he didn't want to take a
diminished role after they signed Kareem Rush.
Now with his hometown Kings, House took a jab at Charlotte
before the game when he said: "I didn't want to sit on the bench
on a team that doesn't have a shot at the playoffs. If I was going
to sit on the bench, I'll sit on the bench with a contender."
He finished with three points -- all coming on a 3-pointer at the
end of the game.<
^Notes:@ The Bobcats honored 23 local servicemen and women from
343rd Quartermaster Company of Rock Hill, S.C., who recently
returned from Iraq by giving them courtside seats. ... Songaila
played at Wake Forest and married a former Demon Deacons tennis
player who grew up just outside of Charlotte. Even though he was in
street clothes Tuesday night, he was hurriedly chasing down tickets
before the game. Teammate Bobby Jackson, who is from Salisbury but
is on the injured list this season, bought 40 tickets to the game.