CHARLOTTE — Gerald Wallace was a step quicker — and about a foot higher — than everyone else.
Wallace scored 17 of his career-high 42 points in the fourth quarter, including four rim-rattling dunks, and the Charlotte Bobcats pulled away from cold-shooting New York for a 104-87 victory over the Knicks on Wednesday night.
Wallace hit a 3-pointer, a free throw and had a thunderous jam in an 8-0 run that put Charlotte ahead 97-82 with 2:44 left. He made 14 of 22 shots and 11 of 17 free throws, besting his previous career-best night by a point.
“That’s phenomenal,” teammate Derek Anderson said. “We found a guy and we rode him.”
Raymond Felton added 16 points and 10 assists, including two alley-oop feeds to Wallace, as the Bobcats won for the 12th time in 19 games.
“All they have to do is get the ball above the rim and I’ll go get it,” Wallace said.
Lakers 111, Celtics 98
BOSTON — Kobe Bryant returned from his one-game suspension and had 43 points, eight rebounds and eight assists to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat Boston 111-98 Wednesday night and send the Celtics to a franchise-record 13th consecutive loss.
Ryan Gomes scored 23 points, Gerald Green had 22 and Al Jefferson had 10 with 14 rebounds for Boston, which last lost 13 straight in 1996-97.
76ers 89, Hornets 78
OKLAHOMA CITY — Andre Iguodala scored 22 points, Samuel Dalembert grabbed 15 rebounds to lead Philadelphia’s dominant rebounding effort.
New Orleans was ineffective on offense in Chris Paul’s first game after a monthlong absence with a sprained right ankle. Devin Brown, relegated to the bench after Paul’s return, had 17 points to lead the Hornets.
Rockets 112, Sonics 102
HOUSTON — Tracy McGrady scored 36 points to match Ray Allen on Wednesday night and lead the Houston Rockets to 112-102 victory over Seattle, which tied a franchise record with their 14th consecutive road loss.
Hawks 115, Warriors 94
ATLANTA — Joe Johnson, hoping to be picked as a reserve for the All-Star game, scored 33 points to lead Atlanta, which capped its first winning month in almost three years with its highest point total of the season.
Mavericks 95, Grizzlies 94
MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dirk Nowitzki overcame a tough shooting night with 26 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, to lead the Dallas Mavericks to a 95-94 victory over Memphis.
Kings 100, Timberwolves 98
MINNEAPOLIS — Kevin Martin had 28 points and the go-ahead jump shot with 16.6 seconds left, helping the struggling Sacramento Kings stave off another road defeat and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 100-98.
Magic 98, Bucks 73
ORLANDO, Fla.– Hedo Turkoglu scored 17 points and Tony Battie added a season-high 15 as Orlando stopped a three-game losing streak.
Pistons 113, Nets 89
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Richard Hamilton scored 24 points and Detroit set a team record by making 27 consecutive free throws.
Raptors 119, Wizards 109
TORONTO — Chris Bosh scored 34 points and Jose Calderon had a career-high 24 points and 11 assists to lead Toronto.