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Author Topic: Charlotte 107, Indiana 103, OT  (Read 1030 times)
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« on: January 01, 2008, 02:12:46 am »

Charlotte Bobcats first-year coach Sam Vincent has tinkered with the starting lineup, tweaked his rotation, called out his players and later defended them, all trying to find a way to spark his struggling team.

Nothing had worked of late, including the first 3 1/2 quarters Monday.

Then Gerald Wallace took charge -- and it didn't matter who he was playing with.

Wallace led a furious comeback late in the fourth quarter and dominated overtime, finishing with 36 points in the Bobcats' 107-103 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Charlotte snapped a four-game losing streak by rallying from a 13-point deficit with under 6 minutes left in regulation behind a series of spectacular plays from Wallace.

"We got the ball to Gerald on the offensive end and he took the game over," said Jason Richardson, who added 28 points and played with a swollen face after a collision with Danny Granger. "He pulled the game out for us."

The athletic Wallace, who signed a six-year, $57 million deal in the offseason, had two three-point plays late in regulation. He then hit two 3-pointers in OT and four straight free throws in the final 22 seconds.

With the Pacers having no answer on his drives to the basket, Wallace scored 20 points in the fourth quarter and overtime. He also had eight rebounds and four steals.

"It was a big win for us," said Wallace, who shot 9-of-21 from the field and 16-of-22 from the foul line. "The main thing we talked about was we wanted to finish off the year on a good note."

The Pacers have lost four straight. The game marked the sixth time this season Indiana has lost after going ahead by double digits.

It didn't help that the Pacers committed 23 turnovers and watched Mike Dunleavy (18 points) and Troy Murphy (17) foul out late in regulation.

"We've got to figure out a way to change that and hold onto games if we plan on being a good team," said Jermaine O'Neal, who had 20 points and 13 rebounds. "Man, it's a tough one to swallow."

AP - Dec 31, 5:28 pm EST
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Indiana, playing again without point guard Jamaal Tinsley (left hamstring), got a combined 29 points from fill-ins Andre Owens and Marquis Daniels. But the Pacers disintegrated late in regulation behind a barrage of turnovers, fouls and missed shots.

Charlotte, which hadn't led since the second quarter, tied it on Emeka Okafor's tip-in with 13 seconds left. O'Neal then missed a 17-footer with 6 seconds left.

The only time Wallace failed late was when he missed a contested runner before the buzzer to force OT.

Early it appeared two Charlotte fans would play a role in the Bobcats' demise. With O'Neal stuck on four points on 2-of-9 shooting in the third quarter, two fans in the second row started taunting O'Neal.

He then hit a jumper and told the fans to keep running their mouths. They did, and O'Neal hit two more jumpers as the Pacers built a 66-56 lead.

During a break before a free throw, O'Neal went over to the fans and reached out to shake their hands.

"I appreciate you guys coming to the game," O'Neal said, before breaking into laughter.

The Pacers appeared in control when O'Neal's jumper with 7:12 left put Indiana ahead 87-74. But Indiana managed only three field goals the rest of regulation.

Dunleavy, who fouled out with just over 3 minutes left, was particularly upset about Charlotte shooting 18 free throws in the fourth quarter. Indiana was 1-for-2.

"They got a lot of calls. That was the difference," Dunleavy said. "I've never known a game to have that much of a disparity."

Charlotte, the league's worst free throw shooting team coming into the game, hit 11 straight until Richardson missed his second attempt to leave the Bobcats ahead 103-100 with 32 seconds left in OT.

The comeback felt good for Vincent, who started a small lineup Monday that included point guards Raymond Felton and Jeff McInnis.

"Once we got it to eight the guys started to believe again," Vincent said. "Once we hit six we realized we still had a chance."


Pacers C David Harrison missed his sixth straight game with a sore back. ... Vincent picked up his first technical foul for arguing an offensive foul call on Wallace late in the third quarter. ... Vincent was in damage control before the game when asked about predicting a playoff berth before the season. "The playoff talk came before we lost about 40 points of production," Vincent said, referring to season-ending injuries to Sean May and Adam Morrison.
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