Wallace, Richardson lead Bobcats past BucksNov 3, 2007 - 3:28 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Raymond Felton and Jason Richardson combined to score 48 points and the Sam Vincent era began with a win as the Charlotte Bobcats edged the Milwaukee Bucks, 102-99, on Friday.
Richardson - Charlotte's major offseason acquisition - scored 12 of his 22 points in the fourth quarter for the Bobcats, who won for just the third time in 12 games against the Bucks.
The high-flying Richardson was happy he and his new teammates could show their fans what they can do.
"It was very nice to get the first win here," Richardson said. "It's a new team and a new coach. We just wanted to show the fans that we're going to be a good team this year and work hard."
The Bobcats led by seven points after Emeka Okafor converted a three-point play with 7:38 left in the fourth quarter. Milwaukee, which never led during the fourth quarter, rallied back to tie the game on Desmond Mason's jump shot with under two minutes to play.
Charlotte scored its final seven points on free throws - including six by Felton - to give Vincent the win in his first game as an NBA coach.
"We're confident in our team and how we're playing," Felton said. "We've got a lot of guys we can go to now down the stretch. It's good to have different options out there. It's a big start for us, now we have to build on this."
After Felton's free throws gave the Bobcats a two-point lead, Milwaukee's Mo Williams missed a chance to tie the game with nine seconds left when his jump shot from the top of the key hit the back rim.
Trailing, 100-97, Williams had another chance to tie, but drove in for a layup with under one second remaining instead of attempting a 3-pointer.
"We had a little bit of a breakdown," Milwaukee coach Larry Krystkowiak said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have a timeout and called (the play) on the fly, but it didn't go as we had planned."
Gerald Wallace was among three Bobcats with a double-double, collecting 21 points and 10 rebounds. Okafor had 17 points and 14 rebounds and Felton dished out 12 assists to go with his 26 points.
"Jason knocked down some shots," Vincent said. "But more importantly, he gave us a guy that the defense had to focus on which gave other guys opportunities."
The game featured six lead changes and 11 ties as Charlotte struggled at the free-throw line, making just 22-of-43 foul shots.
"We don't want to lose games at the end because we can't make free throws," Vincent said. "So, it's obviously a place we're going to put a lot of attention."
Wallace made all six of his shots and scored 13 points as Charlotte took a six-point first-quarter lead. Milwaukee's largest lead of the game was at the half when it had a 49-46 advantage.
Milwaukee was led by Michael Redd with 21 points but had only four in the second half. Andrew Bogut added 11 points and 17 rebounds and rookie Yi Jianlian was limited to just 15 minutes due to foul trouble, scoring two points on 1-of-6 shooting.
"It wasn't the Bobcats' defense or lack of execution on our part," Redd said. "We just didn't run any plays."
CHARLOTTE 102 FINAL
Nov 2 9:43 PM
CHARLOTTE 71 END, 3RD QTR
Nov 2 8:57 PM
CHARLOTTE 46 HALFTIME
Nov 2 8:15 PM
CHARLOTTE 24 END, 1ST QTR
Nov 2 7:43 PM
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