Los Angeles (29-35) at Charlotte (24-41)

Light Freezing Drizzle Currently: Charlotte, NC
Temp: 30° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Fri Mar 16, 2007
  • TV: PRIME
Preview | Box Score | Recap

In their three-year existence, the Charlotte Bobcats have never beaten the Los Angeles Clippers. Friday’s matchup could be Charlotte’s best chance yet to end that drought.

The Bobcats hope to win their third game in a row when they host a struggling Clippers team that has lost five straight.

Charlotte (24-41) snapped its season-high eight-game losing streak with consecutive wins over Orlando and Sacramento this week. The Bobcats averaged 115.0 points in those games, while shooting 50.9 percent from the field overall and 61.9 percent from 3-point range.

The key 3-pointer in the Bobcats’ 111-108 victory over Sacramento on Wednesday came from an unlikely source. Sean May, who was 0-for-6 from beyond the arc in his career prior to Wednesday’s game, went 2-for-2 including the go-ahead 3-pointer with 16 seconds left.

May had 20 points and 12 rebounds on the night, and is averaging 15.7 points while shooting 57.1 percent in three games since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for 20 contests.

“He’s playing well,” Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “The thing is that he’s shooting the ball. That’s been his strength since coming back; he’s been making open shots. That’s what he can do. He can keep people honest, he can space the floor, and he uses his hands very well. That’s what he brings to the table.”

May helped give Charlotte its fifth win in its seven home games. The Clippers, meanwhile, are looking for their first road victory in more than a month as they enter the third contest of a six-game trip.

Los Angeles (29-35) has lost nine of its last 10 road games, including six in a row since a win in Philadelphia on Feb. 9. Only three teams in the NBA have fewer road victories than the Clippers, who are 8-23 away from home this season.

Their latest setback was a 109-105 loss Wednesday at Houston. Los Angeles overcame a 17-point deficit to take a one-point lead late in the fourth quarter, but were outscored 5-0 in the final minute to lose their fifth straight game, one shy of their season high.

Elton Brand had a season-high 37 points in the defeat, one fewer than he’d scored in his previous three games combined.

“It’s satisfying to play well, but we have to get victories,” Brand said. “We had opportunities and we just didn’t finish. We just wanted to win this game so badly and we let it slip away. It’s a tough loss.”

The Clippers, currently tied with Golden State for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West, hope to rebound as they approach an easier stretch of their schedule. Three of their next four games are against sub-.500 clubs.

Los Angeles beat Charlotte 100-93 on Feb. 26 at Staples Center, improving to 5-0 all-time against the Bobcats. Corey Maggette led the Clippers with 25 points, 19 of them on free throws. Gerald Wallace had 20 points and 12 rebounds for Charlotte.

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Friday, Mar 16