Hot-shooting Bobcats send Wizards to franchise-record 14th straight loss, 107-96

By Mike Cranston, AP
Friday, March 26, 2010

Bobcats send Wizards to 14th straight loss, 107-96

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Gerald Wallace scored 23 points, Stephen Jackson added 20, and the Charlotte Bobcats ended an eventful day for the Wizards with a 107-96 victory that sent Washington to a franchise-record 14th consecutive loss.

Hours after suspended Wizards guard Gilbert Arenas was ordered to spend 30 days in a halfway house for a felony gun charge, Washington allowed Charlotte to shoot 55 percent to continue its on-court futility.

Raymond Felton added 19 points and 11 assists for the Bobcats (38-34), who won their third straight to move four games above .500 for the first time in their six-year history.

Alonzo Gee, playing on his second 10-day contract and starting for the injured Al Thornton, scored a career-high 19 points for the Wizards (21-50), who last won Feb. 28. Andray Blatche added 18 points, but had six of Washington’s 18 turnovers.

Players were at their hotel about three hours before tipoff when they heard Arenas would not go to jail for bringing guns into the locker room in December. He’s been suspended since Jan. 6.

“I think he’s aware that he did something that was very stupid,” coach Flip Saunders said. “He was aware there was going to be some type of consequences and now he can move forward.”

Saunders used his 24th different starting lineup after Thornton (hip flexor) was scratched. Besides Gee, James Singleton, who had a career-high 21 rebounds in Wednesday’s loss to Indiana, started ahead of JaVale McGee.

Gee, who was playing in the NBA Development League, shot 5 of 9 and made 7-of-10 free throws in 32 minutes. But despite hitting 12-of-20 3-pointers, the Wizards couldn’t contain the Bobcats at the other end.

Charlotte’s second meeting with Washington this week completed one of the easiest stretches of any NBA team. The Bobcats, who handed Minnesota its 14th straight loss a day after beating the Wizards the first time, became only the third team in league history to play three straight games against teams with losing streaks of least 10 games. The Elias Sports Bureau said the Grizzlies did it in 1998 and the Jazz two years earlier.

The Bobcats were lackadaisical at times, allowing the Wizards to cut a 17-point deficit to 91-86 with 5:45 left. But Charlotte responded with a 14-0 run with several easy baskets in transition to improve to 27-8 at home.

Wallace shot 8 of 12 and Felton 8 of 10, while Charlotte held an opponent under 100 points for the 13th straight game.

NOTES: New Bobcats owner and former Wizards executive Michael Jordan wasn’t in his courtside seat. … Thornton said he could miss a couple more games. “It hurts to put on pants in the morning,” he said. … Bobcats coach Larry Brown said he’s talked to Saunders about his miserable season. “I told him to stick to your values,” Brown said. “It’s no accident why he’s won before.” … Wizards trainer Eric Waters was hospitalized before the game for an appendicitis. … The Bobcats will field a summer league team in Orlando with Jordan now in charge. They didn’t last year to save money.

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