Charlotte Bobcats beat the New York Knicks

March 7, 2009 7:43:44 PM PST
Gerald Wallace had 23 points and 13 rebounds, and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the New York Knicks 114-105 Saturday night for their franchise-record sixth straight victory. Boris Diaw added 22 points for the Bobcats, who have the longest winning streak in the Eastern Conference and have won nine of their last 13 games in hopes of landing a playoff berth in Larry Brown's first season as coach. Charlotte pulled within a game of Chicago for eighth place.

Raymond Felton had 19 points and 10 assists, and Raja Bell scored 17 points as Charlotte ended a four-game skid against New York. The Bobcats, who have never made the playoffs since joining the NBA for the 2004-05 season, also equaled their franchise best with a fourth straight road victory.

They held the Knicks to two field goals in the final 8:15 of the third quarter, then blew it open early in the fourth - helped by 3-pointers from Vladimir Radmanovic and Bell.

Al Harrington scored 24 points - just four after halftime - and Nate Robinson, back after missing a game with a sprained left ankle, rebounded from a slow start to finish with 20 on 5-of-15 shooting for New York.

Diaw and Bell, the two former Suns whose acquisitions have helped spark Charlotte's turnaround, each hit big jumpers in the fourth quarter and helped end their former coach's undefeated record against the Bobcats. Mike D'Antoni had been 10-0 against Charlotte.

It was a damaging loss for the Knicks, who also have playoff hopes but now start a five-game road trip Sunday in New Jersey, handing Madison Square Garden over to the Big East for its conference tournament.

A night after making a franchise-best 17 of 21 shots in the first quarter of a 98-91 home victory over Atlanta, Charlotte get off to another strong start. The Bobcats bolted to an 8-0 lead and made six of their first eight shots, but the Knicks weathered the early flurry, and with the game at the fast pace they prefer, cut it to 32-31 after one quarter.

New York opened a 47-41 lead on Danilo Gallinari's 3-pointer with 5:42 remaining in the half, but Charlotte responded with a 14-3 surge to grab a 55-50 advantage on Bell's 3-pointer, and the Bobcats were ahead 59-57 at the break after shooting 61 percent in the first 24 minutes.

The Bobcats tightened their defense after halftime, outscoring the Knicks 20-11 over the final 10 minutes to turn a tie game into an 81-72 lead. New York clanged jumpers most of the period, going 5-of-20 and getting booed after Quentin Richardson's airball on a 3-point attempt with 2:05 remaining.

David Lee finished with just 10 points and seven rebounds, ending his streak of double-doubles at 24 games.

Notes: Brown, who went 23-59 in one ugly season as Knicks coach in 2005-06, was booed during pregame introductions. ... Charlotte's previous best was five straight wins from March 2-8, 2008. ... The Knicks don't play at home again until hosting the Nets on March 18.