NBA Game Summary - New York at Charlotte
(Saturday, December 4th)
Final Score: Charlotte 107, New York 101
Charlotte, NC (Sports Network) - Steve Smith scored 20 points and hit a pair of clutch baskets down the stretch to lead the Charlotte Bobcats over the New York Knicks, 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.
Jamal Crawford scored a season-high 41 points of 17-of-25 shooting, as New York opened a four-game road trip with its second straight loss. Stephon Marbury had only 10 points and dished out 11 assists for the Knicks, who continue to have problems playing on consecutive nights after blowing a 12- point third quarter lead to Orlando on Friday.
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 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.
"As a veteran, I looked up and saw we were tied and thought if I can get a 3 it would put a dagger in them," Smith said. "I was thinking I should try the 3 since we were tied. If you miss it, it's still tied up, but if you make it, you get that cushion."
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.
Nazr Mohammed had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Knicks, who are 5-5 in back-to-back games this season. Tim Thomas had 12 points as New York is only 1-4 in the back end tilts.
"Whenever you go into someone's arena and you know how tough they play, you are automatically in for a challenge," Marbury said. "Tonight we simply didn't meet that challenge."
The game was close throughout, with neither team holding more than an eight point lead in the first three quarters. Charlotte led 28-27 after one quarter, while the Knicks held a 57-53 advantage at halftime.
In the third quarter, New York went ahead 69-63 with 5:30 left. Charlotte came back to take a 78-77 lead with a minute remaining until the fourth only to see the Knicks go into the final quarter with an 81-78 edge.
New York's Anfernee Hardaway missed the game with a strained right hamstring. He is expected to have an MRI within the next week to determine how much time he will miss...Charlotte's Gerald Wallace missed the game with a concussion, Jahidi White missed with a right shoulder strain and Eddie House was out with an excused absence. It was later learned that House was released by the Bobcats...Crawford had shot only 21-of-66 (32 percent) in his previous three games.
12/04 23:48:22 ET