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Wallace helps Bobcats end five-game slide

Mar 23, 2008 - 3:55 AM By Derek Smith PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Gerald Wallace seems to be returning to form and the Charlotte Bobcats couldn't be happier.

Wallace scored 11 of his 26 points in the third quarter as the Bobcats posted a much-needed 94-82 victory over the Miami Heat on Saturday night.

After missing eight games due to a Grade-3 concussion, Wallace had averaged just 13.4 points in five games since returning to action on March 12.

"My main thing was to be more aggressive," said Wallace, who had three steals. "I posted up a lot more than I have in a while. I made an effort to get to the basket."

"Gerald is really getting back into form," Charlotte coach Sam Vincent said. "He's not settling for the jump shot and he's attacking the rim. When he's going and going well, this team is pretty strong."

Jason Richardson had 24 points and Nazr Mohammed added 16 and 14 rebounds as the Bobcats swept the season series for first time in franchise history over the Heat

The win also snapped a five-game slide for Charlotte (25-44), which is five games behind the Atlanta Hawks (30-39) for the final spot in the wide-open Eastern Conference.

"It's still achievable but it will be a tough task," Richardson said. "We're five games out with 14 games left. We need to win at least nine of those, but we have a tough road trip ahead of us. We're still playing for the playoffs and will continue to play for it until we're eliminated."

Jason Williams keyed a 6-0 run to start the fourth quarter, pulling Miami within 73-70 before Charlotte's defense stepped up to hold the Heat to just three field goals the rest of the way.

Miami again was playing shorthanded due to injuries.

Shawn Marion (back) headlined the long list of inactive players for the Heat, who also were without coach Pat Riley as he continued scouting the college ranks during the NCAA Tournament.

"It's not fatigue or anything," Williams said. "They were just better than us."

Williams scored 19 points and Ricky Davis added 15 for Miami, which has assured itself of finishing in last place in the Southeast Division.

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