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Wallace nets franchise record as Bobcats rout Knicks

Feb 1, 2007 - 4:43 AM CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Gerald Wallace put on one of the best performances in the short history of the Charlotte Bobcats.

Using his devastating athleticism, Wallace scored a franchise-record 42 points and grabbed eight rebounds as the Bobcats dug in defensively down the stretch to post a 104-87 victory over the New York Knicks.

Breaking his own record, Wallace edged his 41-point outburst vs. Atlanta on March 28, 2006, as the highest individual scoring output in the team's three-year history.

"I don't think I was in a zone," Wallace said. "I don't think it was me this time. It was the maturity of our team. (They) were finding me and getting me the ball. This is a team that everyone was expecting to see at the beginning of the year, everyone playing together. Our team defense is stepping up. It was more of the team this time than me just being in a zone."

With the ability to take the ball to the basket at will, Wallace has been maligned for his refusal to develop a mid-range jumper. On Wednesday, he did not need one, slashing through the porous Knicks' defense with ease.

"(Wallace) was able to get down court and Raymond (Felton) had the courage to throw the ball because he knew Gerald was going to go up and get it," Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. "The bottom line is that Gerald has been difficult to deal with, whether it's a big four on him or a three on him. When teams go after Gerald, Emeka (Okafor) cleans it up with offensive boards and putbacks."

A 6-7 forward, Wallace shot 14-of-22 from the field - including 3-of-5 on 3-pointers - and 11-of-17 from the line. He capped his impressive performance with 17 points in the final period as the Bobcats pulled away.

"Gerald is the kind of guy that is going to get his 20-plus every night," Felton said. "He's playing well right now and is playing with a hurt shoulder. He's a warrior."

Charlotte used a swarming defense in the fourth quarter to hold off New York, which shot just 2-of-15 in the final period. Eddy Curry's layup that made it 97-85 with 1:54 left was the Knicks' first field goal since Jamal Crawford nailed a jumper with 1:34 left in the third.

"It definitely felt like we were in a drought," Crawford said. "I didn't know when we went that cold but we definitely felt like we went awhile without scoring. There was no reason at all (for the drought). We just have to stay with what is working and continue to go inside to Eddy."

After winning two of three on a tough Western road trip, Charlotte continued its stellar play on Wednesday.

"We have all bought into the fact that we are a good team," Wallace said. "And we share the ball well and guys are getting open. It's starting to sit in everyone's minds that we can compete with some of these teams. We look like the Detroit Pistons when they were holding teams under 70 points. Our camaraderie is kind of the same; guys are helping one another. We are starting to look like one out on the court."

Crawford scored 28 points and Curry added 15 in for New York, which shot just 36 percent (28-of-77).

"We mentally did not have anything to grind it out and stay within the things that we were set out to do," Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said. "For the most part, Charlotte was just better than we were."

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