NBA: Bobcats 101, Wizards 89
CHARLOTTE ó Keeping up with all the changes to the Charlotte Bobcats is getting difficult ó from the three trades to the NBA-high 23 players to suit up to the 15 different starting lineups.
But as coach Larry Brown’s crew headed for the All-Star break after Wednesday night’s 101-89 win over the Washington Wizards, there was a clear sense of confidence in the locker room.
“We get everybody back healthy,” guard Raymond Felton said, “I think we’ve got a great team.”
There were numerous contributors that helped overwhelm the banged-up Wizards. Rookie D.J. Augustin scored 24 points and newcomer Vladimir Radmanovic added 21 points. They combined to hit nine of 17 3-pointers in starting roles.
Emeka Okafor dominated the inside with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Felton came close to his first career triple-double with 15 points, eight rebounds and nine assists.
“We had a lot of guys play extremely well,” Brown said. “It’s a good way to start the break. Hopefully we’ll get Gerald (Wallace) back, Juwan (Howard) back and Raja (Bell) back and we’ve got 30 games left. It’s our hope we can try to get better.”
There was less optimism on the Washington side. Caron Butler scored 26 points and Antawn Jamison had 23 points and nine rebounds, but they got little help and the Wizards were woeful on defense in their 10th loss in 12 games.
“Groundhog Day,” Jamison said. “Defensively we’re not getting stops and there were a couple of times we didn’t even get a chance to shoot the ball.”
They also couldn’t stop Radmanovic from a second straight strong game with his new team.
After scoring 13 points in his debut Monday following last weekend’s trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Adam Morrison, Radmanovic was responsible for squashing each Washington comeback bid
When the Wizards pulled to 69-62 midway through the third quarter, Radmanovic hit two 3-pointers in a 10-0 run. After Jamison’s 3-pointer cut Charlotte’s lead to 86-77 early in the fourth quarter, Radmanovic took a pass from Felton and buried another 3 from the right corner.
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