NBA Game Summary - Phoenix at Charlotte
(Friday, January 23rd)
Final Score: Charlotte 98, Phoenix 76
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Gerald Wallace had 28 points, eight rebounds, five assists and as many steals, and the Charlotte Bobcats produced a thorough 98-76 whooping of Phoenix for their first ever franchise win against the Suns.
Wallace was 11-of-13 from the floor, including a perfect 3-for-3 ledger from three-point range, adding a pair of blocks to an all-around superb effort. Boris Diaw was equally deadly with 26 points on 10-of-16 shooting with a trio of three-pointers, 11 rebounds and four assists.
Charlotte closed out a four-game homestand in impressive fashion, going 3-1 with wins in five of the last six games overall.
"We played this game from the first quarter to the fourth quarter as a team. We executed on offense, executed on defense and took care of the things that we needed to care of," Wallace said.
Shaquille O'Neal posted 20 points and seven rebounds as the struggling Suns dropped their third straight and fifth in the last six games. Phoenix fell to 1-3 in the midst of a six-game road trip with scheduled visits to Atlanta and Washington still to come.
The Suns had their perfect record against the Bobcats franchise come to an end. They had scored more than 110 points in all eight meetings with Charlotte prior to Friday.
In a bright spot for the Suns, they narrowly missed out on allowing a 10th straight opponent to score 100 or more points.
The team did receive some good news on Thursday, however, as power forward Amare Stoudemire was named a starter on the Western Conference All-Star team, his fourth All-Star berth.
Stoudemire, though, responded with a poor effort as did many of the Suns with a 5-of-14 shooting performance en route to 12 points, nine rebounds and six turnovers. Steve Nash also struggled with four points and five assists, also committing six turnovers.
"Poor execution on our part," Phoenix head coach Terry Porter said. "They had 24 points off our turnovers at the half. We allowed them to get out in the open court and get some easy baskets. That was disappointing."
Charlotte jumped on the Suns early and held a 21-13 lead after the first 12 minutes and the Bobcats surged ahead by 19 with a quick 12-0 run midway through the second.
Diaw buried a three to spark the run and Raja Bell followed with a triple of his own before capping the run with a jumper with 3:38 on the clock.
Back-to-back triples from Wallace and a three-point play by Diaw gave Charlotte a whopping 25-point advantage just before halftime and Jason Richardson responded with a three-pointer to limit the damage heading to the second half.
The 'Cats were led by Wallace's 22 points in the first 24 minutes.
The Bobcats picked up where they left off in the first half, running out to a 69-41 lead behind a 10-2 spurt capped by consecutive layups from Wallace to start the third quarter.
Phoenix started to get something going late in the frame when Grant Hill nailed a three-ball and followed with a layup. An O'Neal jump shot cut the deficit to 21, but Diaw closed things out with a hook shot and a three-pointer to extend the lead to 81-55 entering the final stanza.
Charlotte never let off the gas and scored the first six points of the fourth and Sean Singletary's free throw following a technical from a frustrated Porter made it a 90-56 game with 8:42 left.
The Suns went on to score the next eight points to make things respectable, but the Bobcats cruised to an easy victory down the stretch.
Phoenix is now 11-10 as the guest this season...The Bobcats improved to 13-13 at home this season...Richardson was 3-of-9 shooting for eight points with six rebounds...Bell had nine points and a career-best eight assists.
01/24 00:58:51 ET