Bell, Diaw lift Bobcats past WizardsJan 11, 2009 - 5:11 AM By Ben Standig PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Raja Bell scored 19 points, Boris Diaw added 18 and Shannon Brown hit a 3-pointer with 2:42 left to give the Charlotte Bobcats the lead for good as they defeated the Washington Wizards, 92-89, on Saturday.
Juwan Howard scored 12 points and Adam Morrison added 11 for the Bobcats, who overcame a 13-point, third-quarter deficit and held on. The Wizards had multiple attempts in the final seconds, but could not convert.
"I feel fortunate we won, but it was one of the most satisfying ones of the year by far," said Bobcats head coach Larry Brown, as his team snapped a two-game losing streak.
Caron Butler scored 19 points and Andray Blatche added 14 for the Wizards (7-29), who dropped their fourth straight overall and both games against the Bobcats (14-24) this season.
With the game tied, 85-85, and with the shot clock winding down, Brown drained a 3-pointer from the right baseline as the buzzer sounded. Diaw hit a jump shot on the Bobcats' next possession to put them up five.
Two free throws from Butler followed Blatche's inside bucket with 56 seconds cut the lead to one at 80-79. After Bell misfired from 3-point range, Mike James missed a runner and Blatche's tip attempt rolled off, but the ball out-of-bounds stayed with the Wizards.
Nick Young, who added 12 points off the bench, took the inbounds pass and drove to the right elbow but his jump shot was off. Raymond Felton added two free throws to increase the lead to three with 0.6 seconds left and the Wizards (7-29) failed to get off a shot at the end.
"We couldn't get anything going down the stretch," said Butler, who had 13 points in the second half. "Obviously we were trying a lot of different things, but we couldn't get the ball exactly where we wanted to get the ball, we had to improvise and guys did their best with their one-on-one ability, but we fell a little short."
Antawn Jamison added 13 points for the Wizards, who once again fell apart late in a game, this time in front of a sellout crowd.
"Early on, we made a very legitimate attempt to drive the ball, get the ball in close to the basket before we looked for jump shots and I think that is what drove our lead," Wizards interim coach Ed Tapscott said. "Then I think for a while, we fell prey to going back to shooting jump shots. Hard jump shots off the dribble, non-rhythm jump shots, jump shots that come out of random plays and don't come out of the offense and as soon as we did that, they cut our lead in half."
Trailing, 68-55, with 4:38 remaining in the third quarter, the Bobcats closed the quarter on a 14-2 run. Howard's basket to open up the fourth gave them a 72-71 lead.
Slow starts have been one of the Wizards' many problems this season. They had scored more than 38 first-half points just once over their previous five games - but 21 points from their reserves, including highlight dunks from JaVale McGee, provided a lift in this one.
McGee, the Wizards' first-round pick this season, went from sitting out four straight games to hitting all four of his first-half attempts, including a thunderous windmill breakaway dunk in the second quarter. He led the Wizards with nine first-half points and the Wizards collectively shot 64 percent (21-of-33) from the floor and led, 49-45, at halftime.
WASHINGTON 89 FINAL
Jan 10 9:28 PM
WASHINGTON 70 END, 3RD QTR
Jan 10 8:50 PM
WASHINGTON 49 HALFTIME
Jan 10 8:06 PM
WASHINGTON 31 END, 1ST QTR
Jan 10 7:36 PM
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