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Bobcats notch another road win, down Sonics

Mar 29, 2008 - 7:37 AM SEATTLE (Ticker) -- One of the league's worst road teams, the Charlotte Bobcats have to be thrilled with winning two straight games away from home for just the third time this season.

Jason Richardson scored 27 points and Raymond Felton added 23 for the Bobcats as they pulled away late to preserve a 96-93 victory over the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday.

After getting routed by 22 points to start off a five-game road trip through the Western Conference, Charlotte - which improved to 8-28 away from home this season - has defeated the Los Angeles Lakers and SuperSonics in succession to win back-to-back road games for just the third time this season.

"I thought it was big the way our guys stayed with it even though we went down for periods," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said. "We continued to fight through and came up with some big plays and were able to come up with a road win. So for us, that's really big."

Following three straight 3-pointers by the Bobcats early in the fourth, Seattle briefly reclaimed the lead on three different occassions, the last of which came on a floater from rookie Kevin Durant with 1:09 left to give the Sonics a 91-90 advantage.

Led by Richardson's 6-of-10 performance, the Bobcats were quite proficient from the arc, connecting on 53 percent (10-for-19), compared to just 27 percent (4-for-15) for Seattle.

"They (the 3-pointers) were going early but we're always afraid," Vincent said. "You live by the jump shot, you die by the jump shot."

Felton answered on the other end with a short jumper to put Seattle back in front, 92-91.

"Raymond Felton, he made some big shots down the stretch," Vincent said. "He's continuing to grow, game by game."

Both teams went scoreless on their next possession until Felton drew a foul with nine seconds remaining. He sunk both free throws and, after Durant forced up a long jumper on the other end, Richardson was fouled and hit both of his attempts from the line.

Emeka Okafor added 19 points and nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who could not keep the Sonics at bay after running out to a 15-point, first-quarter lead, allowing them to move within 55-53 by halftime.

"I thought we were going to put out Seattle early but they fought back," Okafor said. "It kind of went back and forth, and we showed a lot of heart and were able to come up at key moments and come away with a win."

Once Seattle overcame that deficit, the game remained close thereafter with Charlotte holding the largest lead of the second half at 64-57 just over three minutes into the third quarter.

Earl Watson led the rally from that deficit, scoring 10 points over the remainder of the period to help the Sonics take a 76-72 lead heading into the final quarter, capped by his driving layup as time expired in the third.

Durant scored 18 points and Watson added 16 for the Sonics, who fell to 11-26 at home this season.

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