Sacramento (14-53) at Charlotte (29-38)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Charlotte, NC
Temp: 73° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EDT Wed Mar 18, 2009
  • TV: CSCA, SPSO
Preview | Box Score | Recap

How well the Charlotte Bobcats fare over the next week could be a determining factor in whether or not they reach the postseason for the first time in franchise history.

As they continue a favorable stretch of their schedule, the Bobcats look for their second straight victory Wednesday night when they host the lowly Sacramento Kings.

Charlotte (29-38) routed Toronto 112-86 at home Monday to snap a three-game losing streak and bounce back from a frustrating 108-100 loss at struggling Minnesota two days earlier.

With 15 games remaining, the Bobcats are 10th in the weak, but crowded, Eastern Conference and are just 1 1/2 games behind Chicago for the eighth and final playoff spot.

Charlotte, which is four shy of matching the single-season club record for wins set in 2006-07, can’t afford many setbacks, especially against teams with worse records than itself.

“We’re trying to do something big here,” said Bobcats guard Raymond Felton, who had 13 points and eight assists Monday. “Every game is like a playoff game for us.”

Charlotte has the chance to possibly improve its position by hosting Sacramento (14-53) - last in the Western Conference - before facing three teams behind it in the East. The Bobcats visit the Raptors on Friday, host Indiana on Saturday and head to Washington next Wednesday.

“We’ve got to make that happen. We’ve got to get these wins,” Felton said. “If we play the way we played (Monday) we’ll be just fine.”

Things then get much tougher for the Bobcats, who will play six games in a nine-day span highlighted by matchups at home against the Los Angeles Lakers on March 31 and at Boston the following night.

Gerald Wallace scored 25 points and rookie D.J. Augustin added 15 with six assists for Charlotte, which shot 49.4 percent and held Toronto to 38.0 percent from the field.

It was a better defensive effort for the Bobcats after they allowed San Antonio, Houston and the Timberwolves to shoot a combined 50.9 percent during the losing streak.

Wallace is averaging a team-leading 16.6 points this season and 21.0 on 64.2 percent (43-for-67) shooting in his last six games. He had 27 points on 10-for-17 shooting in Charlotte’s 98-91 win on Feb. 25 at Sacramento.

The Bobcats are 3-1 all-time at home against Sacramento, but the Kings won 116-115 in overtime on Feb. 22, 2008 in their most recent visit to Charlotte.

Sacramento will try to avoid its fifth straight loss after falling 119-97 on Tuesday in Atlanta. Kevin Martin scored 31 points for the Kings, who have dropped four in a row on the road to fall to 4-30.

“We stopped playing together, and this is happens when you play selfish basketball,” Martin said of the Kings, who shot 39.2 percent and allowed the Hawks to shoot 55.8 percent. “I think we all learned a little lesson.”

Martin is averaging a career-high 24.2 points and 29.7 in his last three games. He had 27 points in the Kings’ last meeting with Charlotte.

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Wednesday, Mar 18