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NBA Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 18th (All times eastern)

New York Knicks (32-49) at Charlotte Bobcats (33-48), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The New York Knicks and Charlotte Bobcats both close out the 2006-07 season this evening down south in North Carolina.

New York has lost five straight, 13 of 15 and 15 of its last 18 games, including Monday's 104-95 loss to the New Jersey Nets. Steve Francis had 26 points and Mardy Collins tallied a career-high 23 points and 10 boards for the Knicks, who will miss the playoff for a third consecutive year.

Knicks head coach Isiah Thomas went 3-15 since signing an extension in early March following a win over Washington on March 10. New York finished with a 19-22 home record this season, and will hit the road tonight where it owns a 13-27 mark in 2006-07.

In injury news for the Knicks in the season finale, center Eddy Curry (hamstring) and forward Renaldo Balkman (stomach virus) are questionable against Charlotte, while center Kelvin Cato (personal) and forward David Lee (leg) are doubtful for Wednesday's game.

Meanwhile, the Bobcats have won five of their last seven games and notched a 113-92 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday at the Bradley Center.

Walter Herrmann scored a career-high 30 points and pulled down nine rebounds to pace Charlotte, which finished the year with a 13-28 road mark. Alan Anderson posted a career-best 24 points and Derek Anderson added 21 points in the triumph.

Tonight's showdown with New York will mark the final game for Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff. Michael Jordan, managing member of basketball operations, announced last month that Bickerstaff will not return as the team's head coach next season.

Charlotte is 20-20 as the host this season and will miss the playoffs for the third straight year of its existence. In injury news for the Bobcats, forwards Gerald Wallace (knees) and Adam Morrison (knee), center Jake Voskuhl (knee) and guard Matt Carroll (back) are questionable for Wednesday's game.

Wednesday's tilt between New York and Charlotte is the fourth and final meeting of the season. The Bobcats lead the season series, 2-1, and have won five of the last six meetings.

New York has lost three straight and four of the five meetings at Charlotte, which leads the all-time series by a 6-4 margin.

04/18 11:08:45 ET


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