Bobcats Hang on to Beat Jazz
Dec. 23, 2006
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Emeka Okafor had 21 points, Matt Carroll scored all 16 of his points in the fourth quarter to prevent Utah from pulling off another dramatic comeback, and the Charlotte Bobcats held on for a 101-89 win over the Jazz on Friday night.
Okafor also had 10 rebounds, Raymond Felton added 18 points and 12 assists and Primoz Brezec had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Bobcats, whose 20-point halftime lead was whittled to four with just over 4 minutes left.
But the Jazz, who rallied from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit to win in Atlanta on Wednesday, ran out of steam.
Carroll had a four-point play early in the fourth quarter and a three-point play with 3:14 left that gave Charlotte a 92-84 lead. Carroll then drew an offensive foul and Okafor banked in a jumper on the ensuing possession.
Carroll's deep 3-pointer with 50 seconds left put it away for the Bobcats, who bounced back from a devastating loss in New York on Wednesday when they blew a 19-point first-half lead and gave up a tip-in at the buzzer.
The Bobcats also continued an unlikely trend of seemingly beating only the NBA's elite. Charlotte has only seven wins, but four are against division leaders Detroit, San Antonio, Orlando and now Utah, which is 2-3 all-time against the NBA's newest team.
Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 14 rebounds _ his league-leading 20th double-double _ and Mehmet Okur scored 19 points for the Jazz, who committed 19 turnovers.