After having their momentum stopped by one of the Eastern Conference’s top teams, the Charlotte Bobcats look to start regaining it against one of the worst.
The Bobcats continue their quest for a playoff berth when they host the Washington Wizards on Sunday.
A season high-tying four straight wins had pulled the Bobcats (32-43) within one game of eighth-place Indiana for the East’s final playoff spot going into Friday night.
Charlotte, though, saw its run snapped with an 89-77 loss at Orlando, and the Pacers beat Milwaukee to push their lead over the ninth-place Bobcats to two games.
Leading scorer Stephen Jackson(notes) was held out for the sixth time in 14 games due to a strained hamstring, and the Bobcats were held under 100 points for the 16th time in 17 games. They fell to 5-27 when failing to score more than 90.
After losing on the road to the fourth-seeded Magic, Charlotte has a good chance to bounce back Sunday against a Washington team which has the East’s second-worst record and is a league-worst 2-35 on the road.
The Bobcats have taken 10 of 12 meetings with the Wizards (19-56), including five straight in Charlotte.
Jackson led the Bobcats in the most recent matchup with 21 points and 10 rebounds in a 104-89 win Jan. 8, but it’s uncertain if he will play Sunday. Charlotte is 2-6 without him this season.
Brown has been the only healthy center for Charlotte. The team recently learned Joel Pryzbilla (knee) is out for the season, and it’s unclear when Tyrus Thomas(notes) (knee) will return. Backup point guard Shaun Livingston(notes) (tailbone) also remains out.
“That’s exactly what’s driving us, even with being as short-handed as we are,” coach Paul Silas said. “These guys are still playing with teams that we can beat.”
Washington has followed a 2-17 stretch by winning two of three and made history Friday.
The Wizards became the first team to have two rookies post triple-doubles in the same season, as Jordan Crawford(notes) scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half to go with 11 assists and 10 rebounds in a 115-107 victory over Cleveland.
“The most phenomenal thing about Jordan is that he has the ability to have an average first half and then he comes out and he’s lights out in the second half,” coach Flip Saunders told the team’s official website. “I’m talking about making big plays and not just scoring, he had some phenomenal passes.”
Crawford is averaging 28.3 points in his last three games.
Andray Blatche(notes), in his second game after missing 10 with a shoulder injury, matched a career best with 36 points and had a career-high 19 rebounds - including a franchise-record 16 offensive boards.
“It feels good to be back and I’m having fun again,” said Blatche, who recorded the most offensive rebounds in a game since New Jersey’s Jayson Williams had 17 on Oct. 31, 1997.