Bobcats win third straight road game, down BlazersMar 30, 2008 - 6:17 AM By Kasey Postlewaite PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
PORTLAND, Oregon (Ticker) -- Don't look now, but the Charlotte Bobcats have figured out how to win on the road.
Raymond Felton scored seven of his 18 points in the final two minutes as the Charlotte Bobcats posted a 93-85 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday.
Charlotte, 9-28 on the road, entered this five-game road trip through the Western Conference with just six wins away from home. After a 22-point loss to Utah to begin the trip, the Bobcats have defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, Seattle SuperSonics and Trail Blazers over the last four days.
"We're playing well on the road right now," Felton said. "It's not over yet. We have to keep winning these games and see what happens at the end."
Emeka Okafor chipped in 21 points and Jason Richardson added 20 for the Bobcats, who have won three in a row away from home for the first time since January 10-19, 2007.
In the highly competitive race for the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race, Charlotte (28-45) finds itself 4 1/2 games behind Atlanta (32-40).
"We are playing well right now, especially on the defensive end," Richardson said. "We are helping each other out and doing a great job of stopping other teams' hot players and making it tough for them to score. We're not giving up on the season yet."
With the scored tied at 83-83, Felton nailed a 3-pointer with 1:59 remaining to give Charlotte a lead it did not relinquish.
"Felton has hit a couple big shots at the end of both of these games now (including against Seattle on Friday)," Bobcats coach Sam Vincent said.
"It's really wonderful as a coach to watch Raymond's growth at the point guard spot. To now have an opportunity to watch him make key decisions at key times and knock down key shots to get us wins, there's been a lot of growth by Raymond."
Portland's Travis Outlaw converted two free throws on the other end to pull the Blazers within one at 86-85, but Felton converted a layup on the next exchange to extend the Blazers' lead to 88-85.
Felton struck again with another jumper from the top of the key with 42 seconds remaining to give the Blazers a five-point cushion at 90-85.
"It's all about trying to take the leadership role and take the big shots when the time comes for somebody in a good situation to hit a good shot," Felton said.
"That was big, he took the game over," Richardson said. "Get him the ball and get out of the guy's way. He's our point guard. We get a lot of leadership from him, and he's able to do stuff like that for us."
The Bobcats finished the game on a 14-2 run, primarily because the Blazers' ineptitude down the stretch. After Outlaw's free throws at the 1:47 mark, Portland committed a turnover, had two shots blocked and missed two 3-pointers to close the game.
"I didn't like the body language in this one," Blazers coach Nate McMillan said. "The passion that we should be playing with at the end of this season was not there."
Portland was without its leading scorer, Brandon Roy, for the second straight game. Roy injured his right groin and hip in Tuesday's home win over Washington and will most likely miss the remainder of the season.
"These last games are really important to show us how the players react to challenges and how to come out each game with a passion," McMillan said.
Outlaw scored 26 points and LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 for Portland, which lost despite holding a distinct 57-32 advantage on the boards.
"That's amazing that we can dominate a team like that on the boards and still get the loss," said Blazers center Joel Przybilla, who ended with a game-high 18 boards. "It just goes to show you that we didn't do the other things that it takes to win ballgames."
PORTLAND 85 FINAL
Mar 30 12:29 AM
PORTLAND 71 END, 3RD QTR
Mar 29 11:51 PM
HALFTIME 1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
--- --- --- --- -----
CHARLOTTE 24 25 49
PORTLAND 30 18 48 HALFTIME
HIGH SCORERS AT HALFTIME
CHA - EMEKA OKAFOR 13, RAYMOND FELTON 8,
GERALD WALLACE 7
POR - LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE 15, TRAVIS OUTLAW 13,
JOEL PRZYBILLA 6
Mar 29 11:07 PM
PORTLAND 30 END, 1ST QTR
Mar 29 10:43 PM
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