for this game

Bobcats hope to keep playoff hopes alive versus Knicks

Mar 28, 2009 - 4:55 AM By Jeff Mezydlo Stats Senior Writer

New York (29-43) at Charlotte (32-40), 7:00 p.m. EDT

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (AP) -- While the Charlotte Bobcats are still holding out hope of reaching the postseason for the first time in franchise history, the New York Knicks' playoff chances are quickly fading.

Two clubs fighting to stay in the Eastern Conference playoff race meet for the final time Saturday night at Time Warner Cable Arena.

Charlotte (32-40) avoided a third straight loss with a 100-95 victory at Philadelphia on Friday. Currently ninth in the East, the Bobcats are 2 1/2 games behind Detroit and Chicago for the conference's final playoff spot with 10 games remaining.

New York (29-43), meanwhile, snapped its six-game losing streak with a 103-93 home win over New Orleans on Friday. With 10 games left, the Knicks are 5 1/2 games out of eighth place.

"We got the win," New York guard Nate Robinson said. "That's the most important thing right now. We're just playing."

The Knicks have won two of the three games against the Bobcats this season, including 93-89 at Charlotte on Dec. 30. The Bobcats won 114-105 at Madison Square Garden on March 7 in coach Larry Brown's return to New York to face his previous NBA employer.

Charlotte's Gerald Wallace had 23 points with 13 rebounds, Boris Diaw had 22 points and Raymond Felton added 19 with 10 assists in that contest. Diaw scored 24 points and Felton had 20 on Friday for the Bobcats, who shot 51.4 percent and outrebounded the 76ers 41-23.

"That's a Larry Brown team," Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala said of the Bobcats. "They played hard the entire game and that's what you expect."

The Bobcats led by 19, but allowed Philadelphia to rally by scoring 35 points in the fourth quarter before holding on for the win.

"We're a young team, with a lot of potential. We've got to learn how to make plays down the stretch," said Diaw, who is averaging 21.0 points on 59.3 percent shooting in two games against New York this season. "It's a matter of winning games."

While the Bobcats are still within reach of a playoff spot, the final stretch of their schedule only gets tougher after this contest. They face the Los Angeles Lakers, Boston, Miami and Detroit in a six-day span.

Wallace had 14 points and 11 rebounds against Philadelphia and is averaging 20.0 and 10.0, respectively, against the Knicks this season.

Al Harrington scored 23 points and David Lee added 18 with 11 rebounds Friday for New York, which held an opponent to fewer than 100 points after allowing an average of 118.4 in their previous five contests.

Harrington, who had 38 in a 140-135 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday, is averaging 20.1 points and scored 24 against the Bobcats this month.

Lee, meanwhile, is averaging 16.1 points and 11.9 rebounds overall but just 10.3 points and 9.0 boards in three games against Charlotte this season.

Though the Knicks are 10-24 on the road, they have won two of their last three trips to Charlotte.

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