Wallace, Bobcats Recover to Beat 76ers

Gerald Wallace scored 29 points, including the final four of the game, and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Philadelphia 76ers 101-98 on Tuesday night to snap a three-game losing streak.

Raymond Felton scored a career-high 32 points and the Bobcats recovered after blowing a 20-point lead to improve their faint playoff hopes.

Coming off their worst loss and offensive performance Sunday in New Jersey, the Sixers overcame one of their poorest starts, only to falter down the stretch.

Andre Iguodala and Willie Green missed tying 3-pointers in the closing seconds. Andre Miller had 23 points and Louis Williams scored 20 for Philadelphia, which is trying to better its playoff seeding to avoid a first-round matchup with Boston or Orlando.

Iguodala's fadeaway with 1:42 left put Philadelphia ahead 98-95. After Charlotte's Emeka Okafor hit two free throws, the Bobcats got a defensive stop, then an offensive rebound after D.J. Augustin missed a 3-pointer.

After a timeout, Felton's runner was well short, and Wallace picked off the airball and banked in a layup for an 99-98 lead with 28 seconds left.

Iguodala missed a mid-range jumper, and Wallace hit two free throws at the other end. After Iguodala missed a 3, the Sixers got the ball back after a jump ball. But Green missed a 3 from the corner, allowing the Bobcats to finish their home schedule 23-18.

Charlotte moved within 2½ games of idle Detroit for the final playoff spot with four games left. The Pistons hold the tiebreaker.

The Bobcats played their second straight game without starting shooting guard Raja Bell, who said at shootaround that his strained right calf wasn't feeling any better. Bell is likely out until next week, and could miss the rest of the regular season.

After starting Cartier Martin in Sunday's loss at Detroit, coach Larry Brown went with 6-foot-10 Vladimir Radmanovic at shooting guard after his successful stint there against the Pistons.

Radmanovic got into early foul trouble, but it didn't matter early with Felton and Wallace dominating.

Felton was knocking down jumpers while Wallace was constantly beating the Sixers off the dribble and getting to the line. Felton had 23 points in the first half and Wallace 21 as Charlotte built leads of 44-24 and 63-49 at halftime.

Green, playing with two stitches under his chin after a first-quarter collision, then led Philadelphia's third-quarter dominance. He scored 13 points in the period and Philadelphia outscored Charlotte 32-16 to take an 81-79 lead.

It was a familiar scene for the Bobcats, who blew fourth-quarter leads in each of their previous three losses and had a memorable meltdown in Washington last month, blowing a 20-point lead in a damaging loss.

But this time Charlotte recovered, handing the Sixers their own rough defeat. Entering the night a half-game behind fifth-place Miami, Philadelphia is hoping to avoid the sixth seed and a first-round playoff matchup with one of the East's elite teams.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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