Radmanovic hits 3 late 3s in debut as Bobcats end 5-game slide

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Walk into the Charlotte Bobcats' locker room and there are seven stalls with white stickers covering the names of the previous occupants.

The newest addition to coach Larry Brown's ever-changing roster made a first impression worthy of a permanent name plate.

Vladimir Radmanovic, buried on the bench with the Lakers, scored 13 points and hit three fourth-quarter 3-pointers in his Charlotte debut Monday night, helping turn a close game into a rout in the Bobcats' 94-73 win over the road-weary Los Angeles Clippers.

"Another guy who can hit shots," point guard Raymond Felton said. "That's going to help our offense, no question."

Emeka Okafor had 19 points and 16 rebounds for the undermanned Bobcats, who were missing starters Gerald Wallace (rib, lung) and Raja Bell (groin).

So two days after he was acquired for underachieving Adam Morrison and reserve Shannon Brown, Radmanovic was pressed into action without the benefit of a practice with his new teammates.

The 23rd player to suit up for Charlotte this season -- an NBA-high -- showed versatility with four rebounds and provided the Bobcats with outside shooting the struggling Morrison didn't provide.

He fired up an early air ball, but eventually got comfortable in the fourth quarter. After Baron Davis' jumper cut Charlotte's lead to 67-63, Radmanovic hit two long jumpers in a 15-2 run. He added another 3 to put Charlotte ahead 88-70 with 4 minutes left to secure the end of the Bobcats' five-game losing streak.

"It was definitely nice to be out there and help my team win," said Radmanovic, who had fallen out of favor with Lakers coach Phil Jackson and asked to be moved. "Luckily, I got back into rhythm in the second half."

Zach Randolph had 20 points and 10 rebounds and Eric Gordon scored 17 for the Clippers, who fizzled in the fourth quarter in the finale of a seven-game road trip.

"The last game of a trip, I've been around a long time, I know how these games can be tough," center Marcus Camby said. "Especially right before the All-Star break, you tend to lose a little focus. Your mind is elsewhere."

The Clippers had dropped 11 straight on the road before Randolph combined for 60 points in consecutive blowout wins over Memphis and Atlanta. But the Clippers were outscored 27-12 in the fourth quarter, with Randolph getting little help.

Al Thornton shot 3-for-13, Camby 3-for-8 and Davis 1-for-7 in his return to Charlotte, where he began his NBA career with the Hornets.

"We didn't attack and play at the level we've been playing at the last two games," Davis said. "I thought our offense got complacent and stagnant."

And the Clippers couldn't take advantage of a team forced to use odd lineups compounded by the absence of forward Juwan Howard, whose sore toe flared up following Sunday's loss to Miami.

Brown started DeSagana Diop at center and moved Okafor to power forward. Radmanovic, who wasn't sure he'd play before the game, checked in late in the first quarter and initially appeared lost.

Less than a minute later, the small crowd began to stir as Sean May took off his warmups and jogged to the scorer's table. The injury-plagued former first-round pick hadn't played since Dec. 11 because Brown demanded that he lose weight.

"Sean May!" one fan near the court shouted in amazement.

May played only seven minutes and didn't score, but Radmanovic recovered from an ugly beginning to help the Bobcats up front. He hit five of 10 shots and was 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

"I really think Vladimir is going to help this team a lot," said Boris Diaw, who had 15 points and nine assists. "He really knows the game and is a great shooter."

Game notes
Wallace worked out before the game in a flak jacket. He and Bell are hopeful to return next week after the All-Star break. ... Brown said the Bobcats had no immediate plans to fill their open roster spot. ... Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said C Chris Kaman, out since November with a foot injury, remains on schedule to return after the All-Star break. ... Dunleavy, at South Carolina, and Brown, at North Carolina, were coached in college by Frank McGuire. "He had a big influence," Dunleavy said.