It’s something about playing the Chicago Bulls that seem to bring out the best in the Charlotte Bobcats. For the second time in less than a week, the Bobcats beat the Bulls in a close game. Gerald Wallace’s double-double, 16 points and 13 rebounds led Charlotte to an 83-82 victory in Chicago.
D.J. Augustin continued his stellar play scoring 15 points and dishing five dimes.Stephen Jackson and Boris Diaw helped the Bobcats cause scoring 12 points apiece.
Similar to their 96-91 win in Charlotte January 12, the Bobcats held a off a surging Bulls comeback. Derrick Rose torched the Bobcats for a game-high 33 points, 12 coming in the third-quarter to give Chicago a 57-51 lead.
With three minutes to play, Ronnie Brewer fell on Wallace’s ankle trying to corral a rebound. Wallace was called for a technical foul after kicking Brewer in the back attempting to get Brewer off his ankle. While Kyle Korver sank the technical giving the Bulls a 74-72 lead, Wallace limped around grimacing in pain.
Playing possum, Wallace leaped for a vicious put back dunk tying the game at 74. But it came down to the star-power of Wallace and Rose, WOWING the crowd with one spectacular shot after another. Rose answered with one of his patent double-clutch layups, putting Chicago in front 76-74.
Rose and Wallace exchanged jabs setting up a nail-biting ending.
Wallace hit two free throws, but Rose answered again, draining a pull-up jumper with 1:44 to play. Two possessions later, Wallace slashed to the basket on a fast break layup getting hacked on the play. His free throw put the Bobcats up 79-78 with 1:13 to play.
After a timeout, Rose scored on a put back to put Chicago up by a one. Jackson answered nailing a jumper, giving the Bobcats an 81-80 lead with 47.5 seconds to play.
The Bulls had a chance after the Bobcats turned the ball over with 3.1 seconds left. Rose took the inbounds, dribbled to the top of the key; put his potential game-winner buzzer-beater hit the front of the rim.
Former Bull Tyrus Thomas scored 8 points. Bobcats outscored the Bulls 46-28 in the paint, taking advantage of the absence of Carlos Boozer and Joakim Noah, both out with injuries.
NOTES: Bobcats are 7-5 since Paul Silas replaced Larry Brown December 22. Chicago natives Nazr Mohammed and Sherron Collins returned to the Windy City. Bobcats went 0-13 from three-point land. Charlotte returns to Time Warner Arena for their next two games, Philadelphia on Thursday and Atlanta Saturday.