Bobcats hold off Wizards

  • <i>Associated Press</i>
  • Wednesday, February 11, 2009 6:57pm
  • SportsSports

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — D.J. Augustin scored 24 points, Vladimir Radmanovic added 21 points in another strong game for his new team, and the Charlotte Bobcats held off the Washington Wizards 101-89 on Wednesday night.

Augustin and Radmanovic were in coach Larry Brown’s 15th different starting lineup of the season and overwhelmed the woeful Wizards by combining to hit nine of 17 3-pointers.

Emeka Okafor dominated the inside with 16 points and 13 rebounds and Raymond Felton had 15 points, eight rebounds and nine assists for the Bobcats, who entered the All-Star break on a two-game winning streak.

Caron Butler scored 26 points and Antawn Jamison had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards, who lost for the 10th time in 12 games.

After scoring 13 points in his debut Monday following last weekend’s trade with the Los Angeles Lakers for Adam Morrison, Radmanovic got his first start with Charlotte.

And nearly every time Washington got hope, Radmanovic responded with big buckets.

When the Wizards pulled to 69-62 midway through the third quarter, Radmanovic hit two 3-pointers in a 10-0 run. After Jamison’s 3-pointer cut Charlotte’s lead to 86-77 early in the fourth quarter, Radmanovic took a pass from Felton and buried another 3 from the right corner.

Washington made one final push, getting to 93-87 before Augustin hit two free throws and Radmanovic drilled another 3 to secure Charlotte’s 21st win despite playing without starters Gerald Wallace (rib, lung) and Raja Bell (groin) and reserve Juwan Howard (toe).

Charlotte’s formula was simple: pound the ball inside against the Wizards’ depleted front line, missing Brendan Haywood, Andray Blatche and Etan Thomas to injuries and with Darius Songaila at less than full strength.

Songaila started at center for Washington after being knocked out of Tuesday’s loss to Atlanta in the second quarter with a bruised left elbow from colliding with teammate Juan Dixon. Playing with a sleeve protecting his left arm, Songaila had six points and four rebounds on 3-of-8 shooting, but struggled to defend Okafor.

Augustin, paired with Felton in a small backcourt, continued his strong rookie season, while Boris Diaw added 14 points and seven assists.

Butler and Jamison were the lone offensive threats in another rough night in a lost season for Washington and coach Ed Tapscott, who was the expansion Bobcats’ first team president.

Notes: The Wizards dropped to 0-12 against the Southeast Division.

… Bobcats F Sean May had two points and one rebound in four minutes in his second game after missing two months with conditioning and weight issues. Coach Larry Brown warned before the game that May’s “got to be careful and make sure he continues to work” during the All-Star break. … Bell did some jogging before the game. Bell and Wallace remain hopeful to play Tuesday in Orlando. … Bobcats rookie G Sean Singletary will have his jersey retired Sunday at Virginia.

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