Charlotte (4-10) at Los Angeles (10-7)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 10:30 pm EST Mon Dec 6, 2004
  • TV: WJZY, FSW2
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The expansion Charlotte Bobcats are learning just how important home-court advantage can be in the NBA.

The Bobcats will take another shot at their first-ever road win as they open a four-game trip against the Los Angeles Clippers.

The Bobcats beat the New York Knicks 107-101 on Saturday for their third straight home victory. Charlotte, which has won four of eight games at home, has dropped six straight on the road.

Charlotte will face Sacramento, Phoenix and Golden State along with the Clippers on its current West Coast swing.

“We understand that we need to get a win on the road,” Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “What we do as a coaching staff is we never put ourselves in the position where winning is a must. We just go out and we play, and we try to do the right things, and if we’re good enough, then fine.

“We haven’t played bad on the road. We’ve played in some places where the fans were tough, we haven’t played bad.”

Rookie Emeka Okafor had 20 points and 18 rebounds against the Knicks for his sixth straight double-double. Steve Smith added 20 points and Brevin Knight had 18 assists.

Charlotte played with only nine players Saturday. Jahidi White did not play because of a right shoulder strain and Gerald Wallace sat out after suffering a concussion in practice on Thursday. Wallace is also expected to miss the first two games of the trip.

Eddie House did not play due to what Bickerstaff called an “excused absence”, and was waived nearly two hours after Saturday’s game.

“Eddie handled himself as a professional since he joined our organization and we know we will see him on an NBA roster very soon,” Bickerstaff said in a news release. “We had a situation here with a lot of players at one position and this was a difficult decision.”

Los Angeles lost 107-100 in overtime to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Saturday, snapping a five-game winning streak. Off to their best start since moving to Los Angeles, the Clippers have dropped three overtime games at home this season.

“We had great opportunities in overtime, but we have to learn through experience how to close these games out,” said Corey Maggette, who tied a career high with 34 points.

Minnesota’s Sam Cassell had 30 points, becoming just the third player this season to score at least 30 against the Clippers, joining Houston’s Tracy McGrady and Phoenix’s Amare Stoudemire.

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