for this game

Wallace once again comes up big against limping Wizards

Apr 5, 2007 - 6:20 AM WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Gerald Wallace once again had no problem taking advantage of the Washington Wizards' untimely injuries.

Wallace had 27 points and 12 rebounds as the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Wizards for the second time in as many days with a 108-100 victory.

Rookie Walter Herrmann scored 20 points and Raymond Felton added 19 for the Bobcats (30-46), who recorded their first 30-win campaign since entering the league in 2004.

"I think we can talk about the obvious right now, that we've won 30 so we need one," said Charlotte coach Bernie Bickerstaff about getting 31 wins. "The one thing is we've improved each year on what we've done. The guys, they want it. They're playing, and my answer to them is: 'Hey, who knows?' Just keep playing."

"Our main thing right now is just to keep playing the way we are playing," Wallace said. "I think we had 30 assists in back-to-back games, so keep sharing the ball, keep playing team ball and everything works out there on the court."

While Wallace also had eight assists to fall two shy of the first triple-double in franchise history, the main story was the injury to Washington's Gilbert Arenas.

The third-best scorer in the league at 28.8 points, Arenas suffered a left knee injury after Wallace crashed into him late in the first quarter scoring on a reverse layup.

"I really don't know," Wallace said when asked about the collision with Arenas. "I went to the basket and I fell, and I don't know if I landed on his knee. I know my shoulder hit him, it made my shoulder sore, but I don't really know. I didn't even know it was him until I got up, while he was down on the floor."

Arenas limped off the court under his own power and did not return after heading to the locker room. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Thursday.

"I do not want to speculate about how long he will be out," Washington coach Eddie Jordan said. "Right now it is a sprained left knee; tomorrow we will know more after the MRI results."

It was the second injury to an All-Star player in the past four days for the Wizards, who lost Caron Butler for six weeks after he fractured his right hand in Sunday's win over Milwaukee.

"We have to trust the system," said Jordan about the prospects of being without the two stars. "We have to trust each other. We have to do things harder and do things better.

"We have seen a lot of injuries to a lot of guys. You always prepare your team; 15 guys need to be ready to step up and play. Thunderbolts are always around."

Wallace took advantage of the absence of Butler in Tuesday's 122-102 win over Washington, scoring 34 points and pulling down 14 rebounds.

"Gerald Wallace has always been a matchup problem for us," Jordan said.

In this one, Felton halted an 8-0 burst by Washington with a 3-pointer that gave Charlotte a 94-92 edge with 4:59 left. Wallace hit a runner in the lane on the next possession and later completed a three-point play for a 101-96 advantage with 3:08 remaining.

"They made a run," Bickerstaff said. "You know they're going to make a run when you've got Jamison on the floor."

Wallace, who was involved in a number of collisions, finished 11-of-20 from the field and Emeka Okafor had 17 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who shot 50 percent (41-of-82) and converted 20-of-22 free throws.

"It's April," Wallace said about the physical nature of the game. "This is playoffs for most people. When I was in Sacramento, we called April the start of the second season, so the games in April were like the preseason for the playoffs."

Antawn Jamison had 25 points and 11 rebounds and Etan Thomas added a season-high 19 and 10 for Washington, which still holds the sixth spot in the Eastern Conference despite losing six of its last eight games.

Antonio Daniels chipped in 18 points and handed out a career-high 17 assists for the Wizards, who lost despite holding advantages in rebounds (42-40), points in the paint (50-48) and fast-break points (24-10).

Daniels' assist total was the most for the Washington franchise since Rod Strickland had 16 against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 16, 2000.

"It's unfortunate that we do not have Gilbert right now, but we all have to step up," he said. "I'm not going to replace Gilbert Arenas. That's not what I need to do. I need to be a point guard and get everyone involved. That's when we're most effective. That's what I tried to do tonight, and that's what will make us successful going forward."

The Wizards could have clinched a playoff berth Wednesday with a win and a loss by the New York Knicks, which did fall to the Philadelphia 76ers, 92-90.

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