NBA Roundup: Bobcats whip Kings
The NBA roundup …
CHARLOTTE ó Gerald Wallace had 25 points and 12 rebounds and the Charlotte Bobcats beat short-handed Sacramento 104-88 on Wednesday to keep the Kings winless against the Eastern Conference.
Emeka Okafor added 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Bobcats, who pulled away in the fourth quarter as the Kings played without top scorer Kevin Martin (illness), Andres Nocioni (quadriceps) and then lost Rashad McCants (ankle) after he scored 30 points.
Beginning the night in the middle of a six-team logjam for the final playoff spot in the East, the Bobcats won their second straight while the NBA-worst Kings fell to 0-28 against the East.
McCants, starting for Martin, hit 10 of 20 shots before limping to the locker room with 4:41 left with a sprained right ankle.
Coach Kenny Natt said Martin first started feeling ill before he scored 31 points in Tuesday’s loss to Atlanta. But it got worse after the flight to Charlotte, and Martin stayed back at the hotel, leaving a huge void for the Kings on offense made worse by Nocioni’s absence.
The forward, acquired in a three-team trade last month, has been slowed by tendinitis in his right quadriceps. Nocioni received treatment before the game, but Natt decided to rest him.
Francisco Garcia, starting for Nocioni, scored 17 points, but hit only seven of 21 shots. He also was called for a technical foul after a hard foul on Wallace midway through the fourth quarter.
Celtics 112, Heat 108
BOSTON ó Paul Pierce scored 36 points and the Boston Celtics clinched the Atlantic Division title with a 112-108 victory Wednesday night against the Miami Heat, who played without NBA scoring-leader Dwyane Wade.
Wade missed his first game of the season because of a right hip flexor.
Wade’s injury ended his career-long streak off 66 straight games played.
Nets 115, Knicks 89
NEW YORK ó Vince Carter scored 29 points, Brook Lopez had 23 to help New Jersey salvage the final game of an otherwise miserable five-game trip.
Blazers 95, Pacers 85
INDIANAPOLIS ó Brandon Roy scored 20 points, and Portland center Greg Oden won his first pro game in his hometown.
Oden, the top pick in the 2007 draft, returned to Portland’s lineup after missing more than a month because of a bone chip in his left knee. He finished with four points and seven rebounds in 12 minutes.
Nuggets 111, Grizzlies 109
MEMPHIS, Tenn ó Carmelo Anthony scored 35 points, including the go-ahead three-point play with 33.2 remaining, as the Denver Nuggets overcame a 17-point second-half deficit to defeat the Memphis Grizzlies 111-109.
Anthony hit a pair of free throws with 5.8 seconds left for a 111-108 lead.
Hornets 94, T’wolves 93
NEW ORLEANS ó Chris Paul capped a 26-point, 10-assist, five-steal performance by setting up David West’s dunk with 12.6 seconds left that gave the New Orleans Hornets a 94-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Minnesota’s Randy Foye missed a 17-foot jumper as time expired, allowing New Orleans to escape with the victory.