for this game

Diaw leads charge as Bobcats trounce Grizzlies

Dec 20, 2008 - 5:41 AM By Shawn Pachucki PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MEMPHIS, Tennessee (Ticker) -- Boris Diaw scored a season-high 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, while Emeka Okafor contributed 25 points as the Charlotte Bobcats thwarted the Memphis Grizzlies, 112-83, on Friday.

After missing one game to attend his father's funeral, Gerald Wallace scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting and added nine rebounds for the Bobcats, who won two games in a row for the second time this season.

"It was important for us to come in here with energy tonight," said Diaw, who hit 11 of his 13 shots. "We knew they would want to come out and get up on us, and we did a good job of controlling the game."

Charlotte shot 66 percent (50-of-76) from the floor and outrebounded Memphis, 41-23, while earning its first road win this month and only its second all season.

"A lot of guys stepped up tonight and played big," said rookie point guard D.J. Augustin, who scored only two points but handed out 10 of the Bobcats' season-high 35 assists. "Boris Diaw had a great game and Emeka played great.

"When those guys play great, we all play as a team."

Rudy Gay recorded 17 points and Darko Milicic added 11 for the Grizzlies, who have dropped two straight games following a four-game winning streak.

Since his trade from Phoenix earlier this month, Diaw is averaging better than 15.0 points in four games with Charlotte. He had been scoring 9.2 per game with the Suns.

The Bobcats had their way with Memphis most of the night, owning the glass and scoring at will around the basket. Charlotte shot 72 percent in the first half and outrebounded the Grizzlies, 21-9.

"We played great and passed the ball," Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. "For three quarters, we probably played as well as we have all year ... I'm very pleased."

The Bobcats' 58 first-half points, 36 first-quarter points and 32 third-quarter points were all season highs.

Ahead by 14 at the half, the Bobcats opened the third on a 14-2 run. They outscored the Grizzlies, 32-14, in the quarter.

"Things opened up tonight and we were able to get guys in good position to score," Diaw said. "We were able to find guys around the basket."

Memphis, meanwhile, shot 43 percent (31-of-72) and missed 13-of-16 3-pointers.

"We discussed how hard this team plays, how they had been on a losing streak, how they won a tough game against Chicago and how they would come into this building very hungry," Grizzlies coach Marc Iavaroni said. "We didn't respond."

Raja Bell shut down rookie star O.J. Mayo failed to reach double figures for the first time in his 26-game career. Mayo scored seven points.

"Raja did a great job on him," Brown said. "Our whole team, defensively, played great. Now we have to validate it (Saturday against Golden State)."

Diaw's jumper two minutes into the second ended a 14-6 run, bridging the opening quarters to stretch a five-point lead to a 42-26 cushion. The Bobcats led by double figures the rest of the half.

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