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Bobcats win season-high third straight game

Jan 14, 2007 - 4:48 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- The Charlotte Bobcats finally have won three in a row, but it wasn't easy.

Overcoming a silly roster mistake and a late flurry of technical fouls, the Bobcats blew a 17-point lead but recovered for an 89-83 victory over the woeful Philadelphia 76ers.

Rookie Adam Morrison scored 17 points to lead six players in double figures for the Bobcats, who closed last season with a franchise-record four-game run. They will have a chance to tie that mark vs. injury-depleted Milwaukee on Monday.

"We're executing better now at the end of the game," said Bobcats forward Matt Carroll, who scored 10 points. "Earlier in the season, we didn't know who to give the ball to. Now we're just playing fearless out there and whoever gets the ball takes the shot and fortunately we've been hitting them lately."

All teams must submit a list of active and inactive players to the official scorer and NBA office one hour before the game. Guard Jeff McInnis, recently acquired in a trade with New Jersey, was listed as neither active nor inactive.

"The bottom line is we blew it," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "There is a group that has to be turned in a hour prior to the game on an active list and an inactive list and his name was on neither. So, those responsible for it, we blew it, but it's all about us a total organization in that situation. There are no excuses. We blew it."

In uniform, McInnis entered the game with 3:15 left in the first quarter. At the next whistle nine seconds later, the Bobcats were given a technical foul and McInnis was ejected.

"I've never heard of that before," Charlotte guard Derek Anderson said. "I guess it's not like the summer league where you can just throw a guy on a team and play."

That didn't seem to slow down Charlotte, which opened a 23-14 lead after one period and widened it to 31-14 on Emeka Okafor's hoop early in the second quarter.

The Sixers closed to 42-34 at halftime and 67-62 entering the final period as they got a spark from Willie Green, who scored 19 points.

Two free throws and a dunk by Jake Voskuhl helped the Bobcats rebuild the margin to 79-68 with 5:44 to play before Kyle Korver scored seven points in a 12-0 burst that gave the Sixers the lead with 3:09 left.

That surge ended in bizarre fashion, as both Morrison and Bobcats assistant John-Blair Bickerstaff were hit with technical fouls. The coach appeared to be talking to the player.

"The ref must have thought he said something wrong, so he called a technical," Bernie Bickerstaff said. "It's an emotional game and apparently he said something in French."

"I had said some things coming down the court before, so it was warranted," Morrison said. "It was definitely the right call, but I didn't agree with it. But I can't argue in that situation and put my team in a bad situation."

Okafor responded with two free throws that reclaimed the lead for good. Carroll added a pair from the line before a fadeaway jumper by Raymond Felton made it 85-80 with 1:09 to go.

"They took the lead in the fourth quarter, but you can't worry about that," said Felton, who had 14 points and nine assists. "The game of basketball is about runs and it's about change of possession. We just did the right things out there tonight and won."

"I think Raymond had a gutsy performance," Bernie Bickerstaff said. Considering all things tonight, it was certainly a good win."

Philadelphia had three missed free throws and two turnovers after taking the lead and lost for the sixth time in seven games. The Sixers have lost four of their last five meetings with the Bobcats.

"I missed a couple of free throws and we have a couple of turnovers that they capitalized on down the stretch and that was the difference in the game," Green said.

Anderson scored 15 points, Sean May added 13 and 10 rebounds and Okafor 10 and nine boards for the Bobcats, who shot just 38 percent (31-of-81) and were outrebounded, 46-40.

Korver scored 15 points, Andre Iguodala added 14 and Samuel Dalembert 12 and 15 rebounds for the Sixers, who shot under 40 percent (29-of-73) and committed 19 turnovers.

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