Wade angry after loss to Bobcats

The Charlotte Bobcats keep finding new ways to beat the Miami Heat,

and that just might end up deciding which team goes to the

playoffs.

That prospect left Dwyane Wade fuming after the Heat’s

second-half offensive meltdown.

Thanks to D.J. Augustin’s big fourth quarter, Raymond

Felton’s steady play and Wade’s shooting woes, the Bobcats earned

their third straight win over Miami, 83-78 on Tuesday night to

further crowd the Eastern Conference playoff race.

With Chicago (31-32) losing later to Utah, the Bobcats

(31-31) moved into seventh place in the East with one fewer loss

than the Heat (32-32), who managed 30 points in the second half and

12 in the fourth quarter.

“The ball didn’t go in the basket the same,” Wade said when

asked about the second half, when he shot 3 for 11. “I ain’t giving

Charlotte no credit if that’s what you’re looking for.”

Wade scored 27 points, but clanged a tying 3-point attempt in

the final seconds for the Heat, who blew a 15-point lead and had

their three-game winning streak snapped.

“He can say whatever he wants to say,” said Charlotte’s

Gerald Wallace, who grabbed 17 rebounds. “We’re over here as a

team, we know what we did. He says he doesn’t credit us. He had

what, 17 in the first half? How many did he have in the second

half?”

The Bobcats used what they felt were derogatory comments

directed their way by Miami’s Michael Beasley in the last meeting

as motivation in a 39-point rout, Miami’s worst loss of the season.

Charlotte rallied from 19 down to win in Miami in the first

matchup. The 3-0 mark clinches the season series and potential

tiebreaker.

“It felt like a playoff game, honestly,” said Felton, who had

15 points and 11 assists. “It was a big win for us.”

Down by 13 midway through the third quarter and 72-63 early

in the fourth, the Bobcats stormed back behind Augustin. Getting

more playing time after Flip Murray was traded last month, Augustin

had a four-point play and four free throws in an 8-0 run.

After three failed chances with the ball down a point, Felton

drained a 3-pointer with 3:32 left to give Charlotte its first lead

since 6-4.

Trailing 80-78 in the final minute, Miami forced a shot clock

violation and Wade then got the ball at the top of the circle. He

whipped a pass into the corner for Udonis Haslem, who missed a

baseline jumper.

Felton then hit just 1-of-2 free throws with 7.2 seconds

left, giving Miami another chance. But Wade’s 3 in the left corner

bounced off the rim.

“That’s a tough one for us to handle, being in control most

of the game,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “We showed up ready

for the fight and we did not close the game well at all, certainly

not offensively.”

It left a rare, big crowd for an early midweek game in

Charlotte celebrating, including owner-to-be Michael Jordan.

Attending his fourth straight game since agreeing to buy the club,

Jordan grinned and slapped some high-fives after Charlotte improved

to 23-8 at home.

“I wouldn’t want to come to a game and support a team that

hasn’t been winning, that’s been one of the worst teams in the

league,” said Stephen Jackson, who scored 17 points. “Now we’ve got

a chance to bounce back and get to the playoffs. … They’re coming

and supporting us, so we can’t fall short.”

Augustin and Felton, who had a season high in assists, took

advantage of Miami’s thin backcourt.

Carlos Arroyo again started at point guard, while Spoelstra

said before the game the team still hadn’t heard from Rafer Alston

outside text messaging after he abruptly left the team and was

suspended.

Spoelstra wouldn’t say if Alston will be released, but said

the Heat are “moving forward with the guys we have in this locker

room.”

That group raced to a 42-27 lead. But the Heat shot 33

percent in the second half. Whether that was the Bobcats’ defense

or poor execution was a point of contention.

“If he doesn’t want to give us any credit, that’s his

opinion,” Felton said of Wade. “We won the game.”

NOTES: Bobcats coach Larry Brown denied an SI.com report that

he inquired about the Clippers’ coaching job while concerned

Jordan’s ownership bid might fail. Asked if he was committed to

Charlotte long-term, Brown replied, “It’s up to Michael.” … Brown

said he hasn’t talked with Allen Iverson, who left the 76ers amid

reports of personal problems, in three weeks. “I’m concerned he’s

not in the league. I’m concerned his wife filed for divorce,” Brown

said. … Spoelstra said he immediately thought of Hank Gathers

when he watched Detroit’s Rodney Stuckey collapse last week. “I

shuddered and it immediately brought back many horrible memories,”

said Spoelstra, who played in the game Gathers collapsed and died

in 20 years ago.