Except when it mattered most.
When Melvin Ely missed badly on the potential go-ahead basket,
Gerald Wallace swooped in to grab the ball in the air and slam it
in with 7.7 seconds to play and put the Bobcats ahead for good in
their 104-101 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday night.
"I knew Coach had told us when the shot goes up, everybody go
to the board," Wallace said. "I was just lucky. The shot fell
short and I was right there for it."
Wallace's rebound was a rare one for Charlotte, which was beaten
53-34 on the boards. But despite Golden State's impressive 32
defensive rebounds, the Warriors faltered down the stretch to lose
their sixth straight road game, and 17th of their last 20.
"Wins are hard to come by for us anywhere right now," Golden
State coach Mike Montgomery said. "We're in a situation where
momentum seems to be spinning backwards on us. We did everything we
needed to do essentially except win the game."
Jumaine Jones scored 29 points, including a pair of free throws
with 1.4 seconds to play to lead the Bobcats. But he credited
Wallace's important rebound and ensuing dunk for the victory.
"That was the most important thing we needed, a rebound,"
Jones said. "We had struggled all game. They killed us on the
glass, but we got a rebound that we needed it."
Charlotte went into the fourth quarter trailing 81-76, but
quickly made up the deficit and took its first lead at 85-84. The
teams seesawed from there until Jason Richardson's shot danced
around the rim and over the back of the basket to give the Bobcats
the ball trailing 101-100.
The Bobcats then set up for their final shot, which turned into
Ely's miss. Jokingly asked if the play was designed as an
alley-oop, Wallace stood up to make sure Ely had already gone home
for the night before answering.
"That was an airball," Wallace smiled.
Baron Davis missed at the other end for Golden State, Jones got
the rebound and was immediately fouled. He made both his free
throws -- his only attempts of the game -- to lock up the victory.
"We just have to continue to play hard like we've been doing
and dig ourselves out of this hole," said Jason Richardson, who
led Golden State with 27 points. "We just need to learn how to
finish up games."
Monta Ellis scored 13 off the bench for Golden State, Troy
Murphy had 11 points and 14 rebounds, and Davis added 10 points.
The Bobcats sell the first two seats on their bench, but
referee Bill Kennedy apparently thought one of the men sitting in
them was an assistant coach: He called him for a technical foul for
criticizing the officiating. The foul was rescinded when Kennedy
realized the remarks came from fan Skipper Beck, a part-owner of
the Bobcats. ... The game marked the return to Charlotte for Baron
Davis, who began his career here in 1999 playing for the Hornets.
Davis, who played 30 minutes off the bench because of a lingering
right ankle sprain, was thrilled to see the NBA return to
Charlotte. "It's a beautiful, beautiful situation," he said.
"I'm really glad they got a team again, after the way things
ended. Charlotte deserves to be an NBA city." ... Bobcats coach
Bernie Bickerstaff, who is also the general manager, plans to scout
at the Big 12 tournament in Dallas on Thursday and Friday.
Ish Smith finesses smooth reverse lay-in
Ish Smith navigates through traffic to hit the reverse layup.
Giddey shows off passing game in second quarter
Josh Giddey provides a bright spot for the Thunder on the offensive end in the first half.
Bob Ferry, ex-player and longtime GM of Washington Bullets, dies at 84
Bob Ferry, who is one of four GMs in NBA history with 700 wins, 13 playoff appearances, a championship and two Executive of the Year awards, died Wednesday at age 84.