Bobcats 94, Knicks 87
For three quarters, Charlotte Bobcats coach Larry Brown thought his team was ``acting like spoiled children trying to wish and hope our way back in the game.''
In the fourth quarter, the Bobcats came through with an effort that left Brown smiling and his former team pouting.
Stephen Jackson scored 24 points and had the clinching bucket, Raymond Felton scored 18 points and had two critical driving layups, and the Bobcats rallied to beat New York 94-87 on Tuesday night to end the Knicks' season-best four-game winning streak.
The difference: Charlotte outscored New York 28-13 in the fourth quarter, including a game-closing 15-2 run.
``That was the best win of the year for me,'' Brown said. ``I mean we were dead.''
Despite a subpar game from ill leading scorer Al Harrington, the Knicks led by 12 late in the third quarter and 85-79 on Jared Jeffries' layup with 3:58 left.
But soon Jeffries, who had his best game of the season, fouled out. New York managed one bucket the rest of the way, was outrebounded 15-4 in the final quarter and finished with 21 turnovers.
So much for the Knicks matching their best stretch since the six-game streak in Brown's single, miserable season in New York in 2005-06.
``We win four in a row and we had a chance to win five. I think that's probably the most important thing in the world at that point,'' coach Mike D'Antoni said. ``We didn't play like it was.''
Chris Duhon had 18 points for the Knicks but struggled to defend Felton down the stretch. Wilson Chandler and David Lee had 16 points apiece.
Gerald Wallace scored 15 of his 21 points in the first quarter for Charlotte, which overcame foul trouble to its front line to snap a two-game losing streak and improved to 9-3 at home.
``I think it's one of the best finishes we've had,'' Felton said.
Flip Murray, who didn't play in Charlotte's overtime loss to Dallas Saturday after a streak of poor shooting, shot just 2 for 11 against New York. But his 3-pointer with 1:57 left tied it.
The Knicks then got sloppy, and Felton had consecutive drives past Duhon sandwiched between Chandler's hoop to put Charlotte up 89-87 with 39 seconds left.
Jackson's driving three-point play with 25.3 seconds left put it away, and Charlotte won despite committing 22 of the game's 43 turnovers.
``Raymond got two easy baskets,'' Brown said. ``When Jeffries fouled out, they didn't protect the rim quite as well.''
As Nate Robinson rode the bench for a sixth straight game, Jeffries played like he warranted playing time. He had 11 points, five rebounds, six steals and two blocks.
``Coach has put me in a position to succeed,'' he said. ``He's put me in a position where I can go out and do what I do best. That's all I've ever asked since I've been here.''
Harrington was held to 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting after being a game-time decision. D'Antoni said Harrington, averaging 20.1 points coming in, had a virus and was vomiting before tipoff.
``It impacted me a lot because I haven't eaten anything since yesterday,'' Harrington said. ``But that's no excuse. I played the game.''
Wallace took it to Harrington early, scoring 15 points in the first quarter by constantly beating the Knicks in transition after sloppy turnovers.
But Boris Diaw picked up his third foul early in the second quarter and Charlotte's shortage up front was exposed as Lee scored 10 points in the period to help the Knicks to a 47-46 lead.
It took Diaw less than a minute to pick up his fourth foul to start the second half. He sat out the rest of the third quarter, and the Knicks built as much as a 12-point lead on consecutive layups by Duhon.
Diaw, who was scoreless in eight minutes through three quarters was energized in the fourth quarter. He hit all three shots, grabbed seven rebounds and had two assists. Jackson and Felton took over late and Brown and Charlotte posted a fourth straight victory over New York.
``It was a huge win for us,'' Brown said.
NOTES: Robinson remains on D'Antoni's bad side, but drew some praise from Brown, who coached him in New York. ``Nate is a highly competitive kid,'' he said. ``He does some silly things sometimes but it's not to hurt anybody.'' ... Knicks C Eddy Curry had two points and one rebound in 6 minutes in his second game after an eight-game break to rest his sore knee. ... Knicks F Jonathan Bender was inactive two days after he was signed. ... The Bobcats held a 42-35 edge on the boards.