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Richardson leads Bobcats over Grizzlies

Jan 20, 2008 - 3:53 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Jason Richardson scored 12 of his 38 points in the third quarter to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 105-87 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies on Saturday night at Charlotte Bobcats Arena.

The Bobcats, who have won five of their last eight games, won their third straight at home after losing in New Orleans, 112-84, on Friday night.

"We're playing great basketball right now," Richardson said. "We didn't bring our 'A' game (Friday night) in New Orleans, but we forgot about it and came out and got a win tonight."

Charlotte took control of the game in the third quarter as it connected on 17-of-24 shots in the period to set a franchise record.

"Our defense was very bad," Grizzlies rookie guard Juan Carlos Navarro said. "We didn't have much fight tonight."

Emeka Okafor started the half with four of the first six points to push the Bobcats' lead to double digits, 52-41. However, it was Richardson and Gerald Wallace who led the way for Charlotte in that quarter.

"They are being aggressive on the offensive end," Bobcats guard Raymond Felton said. "They're clicking right now, and it's really helping the team right now."

The duo combined for 20 points and all of the Bobcats' rebounds in the period. Richardson's jumper put Charlotte ahead 70-56 and capped a 10-4 spurt.

"At halftime, we really didn't have the intensity and energy," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "I just mentioned that we needed to focus a little bit more and get a little bit more serious about the game."

Navarro and Pau Gasol each helped trim the lead to 10 points for Memphis, but Richardson and Wallace both responded with baskets to keep Charlotte in command.

Kyle Lowry's three-point play cut Memphis' deficit to just five, 80-75, as the Grizzlies started the fourth quarter with an 8-0 run.

"We didn't win the game the way we wanted to," Wallace said. "We let them get back in the game, but we finished out the game and we were able to get a win."

Wallace responded for the Bobcats with a three of his own to end the run by Memphis. Richardson pushed the lead back to double figures for good, 87-77, with a 3-pointer on the Bobcats' next possession.

Matt Carroll hit two from the arc to extend the lead for Charlotte, which built its largest lead of the game and provided the final margin on a late drive by Felton.

Richardson tallied 18 of his points in the opening half which the Bobcats led 46-41.

"This was a game where we needed to come out and jump on them," Richardson said. "My first two went down and my teammates found me the rest of the game."

The Bobcats took the lead for good on a three-point play by Wallace, which sparked an 8-2 run to close the opening quarter with Charlotte leading 28-22.

Richardson added a career-high 14 rebounds and Wallace collected 28 points, seven rebounds, seven steals, six assists and a block for Charlotte.

It is the first win in franchise history over the Grizzlies for the Bobcats, who are still winless all-time against Phoenix and Dallas.

"This was a game we should have been more aggressive in," Gasol said. "They did that and took control of the game from the first minute. We needed more energy and competiveness tonight."

Gasol scored 28 points and Navarro added 21 for Memphis.

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