NBA: Spurs snap Bobcats’ streak, 100-86
By Paul J. Weber
SAN ANTONIO ó The Charlotte Bobcats finally lost, but they are still in the playoff hunt. The San Antonio Spurs won again and now await what might be a playoff preview.
Tim Duncan had 18 points and 11 rebounds as the Spurs halted Charlotte’s franchise-record winning streak at six with a 100-86 victory Tuesday night.
Roger Mason and Tony Parker added 21 points apiece for the Spurs, who will take a three-game winning streak into Thursday’s home game against the Los Angeles Lakers, a marquee meeting of the Western Conference’s top two teams.
The Bobcats, meanwhile, head home a game behind eighth-place Chicago in their bid to make the playoffs for the first time since joining the NBA in the 2004-05 season. Raja Bell and Emeka Okafor each had 16 points in the loss.
Mason scored nine points in the final quarter, all on 3-pointers that seemed to break Charlotte’s momentum.
“We were putting ourselves in a position to win, and we let it slip,” Bell said. “It (stinks), but we’ve got more games to play.”
The Bobcats had taken seven of 10 to put themselves back in the playoff picture. The loss also snapped Charlotte’s four-game winning streak on the road, which had tied a franchise best.
Raymond Felton had 15 points and Gerald Wallace 14 for Charlotte.
“We knew it would be a grind-it-out game,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
The Bobcats tied it at 71 entering the fourth thanks to a buzzer-beating jumper by Felton. It all set up what began as a back-and-forth finale in the fourth. Mason hit a 3-pointer, then Bell answered right back with a 3 of his own.
Another 3-pointer by Mason, his fifth and final of the night, with just under four minutes left sealed the win.
“We had a heck of a streak,” Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. “For three quarters we played well enough to win.”
Charlotte returns home to face Houston on Friday.