NBA Game Summary - Charlotte at Portland
(Saturday, March 29th)
Final Score: Charlotte 93, Portland 85
Portland, OR (Sports Network) - Emeka Okafor scored 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting to keep the Bobcats' slim playoff hopes alive, as Charlotte defeated Portland, 93-85, at the Rose Garden.
Jason Richardson poured in 20 points for the Bobcats, who have won three in a row, four of five and sit 4 1/2 games behind idle Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Raymond Felton added 18 points and nine assists.
"We played extremely tough against a team that played extremely tough," said Bobcats coach Sam Vincent. "We were able to come up with some key defensive stops and score some buckets at the end to give ourselves an opportunity to win the game. When we can play that well and really make some tough plays, it feels really good to get a win."
Travis Outlaw tallied 26 points for the Trail Blazers, who have dropped two in a row. LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 21 points and hauled in 13 rebounds in defeat. Steve Blake and Jarrett Jack each ended with 11 points, but the Blazers lost despite outrebounding the Bobcats, 57-32.
A Richardson jumper, an Okafor hook shot and a Felton three-pointer put the Bobcats back on top, 86-83, with 1:59 left.
"It's really wonderful for me as a coach to watch Raymond�s growth at the point guard spot with all that has gone on through the course of this year," Vincent said. "To now have an opportunity to watch him make key decisions at key times and knock down key shots to get us wins -- there's been a lot of growth by Raymond."
Two Outlaw free throws made it a one-point game, though, Charlotte rattled off seven unanswered points to end the game. Felton had four, Richardson accounted for a layup, and Matt Carroll hit a free throw to cap the scoring.
Portland claimed a 30-24 lead after 12 minutes of basketball.
Charlotte was left clinging to a 49-48 lead at the intermission.
The teams traded baskets and the lead see-sawed for the better part of the third quarter, until four points from Jack put the Blazers up 68-65 with about two minutes left in the third quarter.
The clubs kept battling and Portland held a slight 71-70 lead heading into the final frame.
An 8-0 run put the Blazers up 81-77 midway through the fourth. A pair of Outlaw buckets sparked the run and a Blake jumper closed it out.
Portland shot 33-of-91 from the field. Charlotte hit 38-of-76 shots...The Bobcats swept the season series, also winning 101-92 on November 19.
03/30 01:30:45 ET