NBA: Bobcats 103, Pacers 94
CHARLOTTE ó Charlotte Bobcats forward Gerald Wallace doesn’t quite feel as if he’s in 100-percent playing shape after missing seven games.
If the Bobcats’ 103-94 victory over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night is any indication, he’s pretty close.
Wallace scored 25 points to lead six players in double figures and Charlotte pulled away in the second half to win its first game since the All-Star break.
Wallace had his best outing in just his second game back after sitting out because of a broken rib and a partially collapsed lung suffered during the Bobcats’ game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 27.
“I’m a ways away from being in the shape I was at the start of the season, but I’m getting there,” Wallace said. “Right now, I just want to lay down somewhere and fall asleep. Coming off a back-to-back was kind of rough.”
Wallace, who also had 10 rebounds and seven assists Wednesday, was 5-of-17 from the field, but made 15 of 17 free throws. He also was knocked to the floor several times while either driving to the basket or diving for a loose ball.
“He was great tonight,” Charlotte coach Larry Brown said. “Thank God we had him. … After last night (a 107-102 overtime loss at Orlando), this is a good win. I’m really happy with the fact we could bounce back after being so disappointed.”
Ekema Okafor had 12 points and 12 rebounds, Raymond Felton added 16 points, Vladimir Radmanovic had 15, Boris Diaw 14 and Raja Bell 11 for Charlotte.
Troy Murphy had 18 points and 16 rebounds for the Pacers, who played most of the game without All-Star forward Danny Granger.
Granger, Indiana’s leading scorer at 25.3 points per game, sprained his right foot early in the second quarter. He did not return after coming out with 10:50 remaining in the half, finishing with 12 points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Jarrett Jack had 18 points, Marquis Daniels 14 and Rasho Nesterovic 10 for the Pacers.
Despite Granger’s absence, Indiana managed to cut a nine-point deficit to 53-50 at the half.