for this game

Red-hot Wallace lifts Bobcats over Magic

Jan 17, 2008 - 4:04 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Gerald Wallace collected 36 points, 14 rebounds and five assists as the Charlotte Bobcats downed the Orlando Magic, 99-93, on Wednesday night at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

Wallace led the Bobcats to their third win in six games against a division-leading opponent. He has averaged 26.5 points and 10.2 rebounds during that stretch in triumphs over Boston, Denver and Orlando.

"Our confidence is high now," Wallace said. "We know that in close games like this in the fourth quarter, we can win these games. We did a great job of executing down the stretch."

The Magic came to town looking for a sweep of the season series, which Dwight Howard had dominated. Howard had averaged 27.3 points and 18.7 rebounds against Charlotte this season, entering Wednesday's play.

In this one, Wallace scored 15 in the third quarter and led the Bobcats back from a 19-point deficit.

Hedo Turkoglu opened the third quarter with four points as Orlando jumped out to a 62-43 lead with 9:27 to play. However, Wallace would not let this game slip away.

"We knew that in order to win this game we had to be more aggressive in the second half," Wallace said. "We had to get up into them and take them out of what they wanted to do and get back to running."

Wallace scored six of nine in a 9-0 run by the Bobcats to pull within ten points. He and Matt Carroll each added seven points in a 16-5 spurt which tied the score at 75-75 through three.

"Our shots started to fall, and it started to energize our defense," Bobcats swingman Jason Richardson said.

Charlotte took its first lead since the first quarter on Richardson's 3-pointer with 8:19 to play in the fourth. Richardson added one more basket in the 10-0 run as Charlotte took an 85-80 lead.

Turkoglu brought Orlando within two after splitting a pair of free throws, but Richardson's second three of the game sealed the victory for the Bobcats.

"We got the lead and traded back and forth a couple of times but we held onto it in the end, and that's what real good teams do," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "So tonight, we were one of those real good teams."

Charlotte sank six straight free throws in the final 30 seconds of play for the final margin.

"We relaxed and didn't play as hard as we played in the first half to get the lead," Howard said. "We're not learning that in order for us to win, we have to play hard for 48 minutes."

Howard collected 24 points and 21 rebounds for Orlando, which lost guard Jameer Nelson, who left the game in the third quarter with a sprained tendon in his right foot and did not return.

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