Sunday , Dec , 05 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

Charlotte Bobcats Team Report – December 5

=== Charlotte Bobcats Team Report – December 5 ===

(Sports Network) – The Charlotte Bobcats posted a victory over the New York
Knicks on Saturday night in the first-ever meeting between the teams.

Steve Smith scored 20 points and hit a pair of clutch baskets down the stretch
to lead the Bobcats to a 107-101 at Charlotte Coliseum.

Emeka Okafor recorded his sixth straight double-double with 20 points and 18
rebounds for the Bobcats, who had seven players score in double figures on
their way to their third win in five games.

Brevin Knight tallied nine points, 18 assists and five steals for Charlotte,
which committed a season-low six turnovers compared to 20 for the Knicks.

With the game tied at 96-96, Smith drained a three-pointer with 2:29 on the
clock to give the Bobcats the lead. Then, after Jamal Crawford missed a three
of his own, New York’s Kurt Thomas got the rebound and was fouled by Smith.
Thomas hit only one of two to cut the deficit to 99-97, but Smith avenged for
the foul by hitting a long jumper to increase the Charlotte lead to 101-97
with 1:52 remaining.

Sloppy play dominated the next three possessions. The highlight of the
sequence was a Knight strip of Crawford with 44 seconds left. Had Crawford
been able to drive to the hoop and hit his shot the Knicks would have drawn
within two points.

However, the steal forced New York to start fouling and Charlotte extended the
lead to six points, 103-97 on a pair of free throws by Knight with 33 seconds
left. With 14 seconds remaining, Okafor extended Charlotte’s lead to its
largest of the game, 106-99.

Primoz Brezec had 14 points and nine boards, and Jason Hart had 13 points for
Charlotte, which is 4-4 at home this season. Jason Kapono and Keith Bogans
each tallied 10 points, while Melvin Ely’s 11 rounded out the double-digit
scorers for the Bobcats.

The Bobcats begin a four-game road trip on Monday night against the Los
Angeles Clippers. Charlotte will also visit Sacramento, Phoenix and Golden
State on the swing.