Bobcats blow big lead, still beat Knicks 102-100
By MIKE CRANSTON,
AP Sports Writer
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) D.J. Augustin made two free throws with 2.5 seconds left in the second overtime and the Charlotte Bobcats recovered from blowing an 18-point, fourth-quarter lead for a 102-100 victory over the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Stunned after New York’s comeback, the Bobcats persevered to win an ugly game between teams coming off blowout losses in their openers.
After Chris Duhon’s tying layup with 7.7 seconds left, Augustin was fouled by Al Harrington on a drive to the basket. Augustin had missed two free throws 16 seconds earlier, but this time calmly sank both.
The Knicks were out of timeouts, and Danilo Gallinari’s desperation halfcourt shot at the buzzer didn’t hit the rim, spoiling their spirited comeback.
Raymond Felton had 22 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, Gerald Wallace added 18 points and 15 rebounds and Boris Diaw had 17 points and 11 boards for the Bobcats, who were outscored 27-9 to close regulation in a collapse helped by New York’s suddenly hot shooting.
The Knicks didn’t take their first lead until midway through the first overtime, then rallied from down 100-96 in the second.
Augustin finished with 15 points.
David Lee had 17 points and 18 rebounds, while Harrington and Nate Robinson had 17 points each. Gallinari made another case to be inserted in the starting lineup, scoring 16 points two nights after getting 22 in the loss to Miami.
Bobcats coach Larry Brown put his team through a 2-hour film session Thursday, watching every detail of the ugly 92-59 loss to Boston a day earlier. In the first of 24 games this season against teams Brown once coached, the Bobcats jumped out early.
While the Knicks were taking quick shots and missing, the Bobcats were beating them in transition as Charlotte built a 32-13 lead. New York, which missed 20 of its first 25 shots, fell behind 47-26 and seemed out of it down 73-55 less than a minute into the fourth quarter.
But Charlotte’s Tyson Chandler fouled out and the Knicks started hitting from the outside. Gallinari and Jared Jeffries both hit two 3-pointers, with Jeffries’ second tying it at 80 with 3:17 left to complete a 25-7 run.
A series of missed shots by both teams, including an air ball by Vladimir Radmanovic, gave the Knicks a chance to win it, but Gallinari missed a long 3.
Diaw ended Charlotte’s nearly 5 1/2-minute scoring drought with a tying layup with 1:20 left in the first overtime. After Duhon dribbled the ball out of bounds with 2.8 seconds left, Diaw missed a fadeaway at the buzzer, sending a game neither team seemed to want to win to a second extra period.
The Bobcats were again without their top two shooting guards. Raja Bell, who has a torn ligament in his left wrist, and Ronald “Flip” Murray (shin), while they got little from Chandler.
After getting shut out in Boston, he scored six points in the third quarter, but still looks far from being in game shape. Having trouble with his lift, he fouled out with 8:49 left with Charlotte leading 75-62.
NOTES: Bell went through shootaround with a smaller brace on his wrist. Brown said he could return Monday against New Jersey, but Bell said it might be later. “I don’t want to set myself back,” he said. … Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni said C Eddy Curry is “getting closer” to returning to practice. He’s been plagued by injuries and weight issues since Brown coached him in 2005-06. “I think down the road he’ll be an asset. I really believe that,” Brown said. … Brown doesn’t think the Knicks are writing off the season ahead of next summer’s free agency. “If you were giving up on the season, why would you sign David Lee and Nate (Robinson)?” he said.