Bobcats 98, Warriors 90
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)—An elbow to the head from a ‘good friend’ wasn’t enough to end Raymond Felton’s night.
Felton scored 12 of his 22 points after running into Al Harrington’s elbow early in the second half, and Gerald Wallace added 21 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Charlotte Bobcats to a 98-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.
Felton stole the ball from Harrington and went in for a layup in the first minute of the third quarter. Harrington caught the ball after it went through the basket and Felton took an elbow in the side of the head.
Felton was down for several minutes before going to the locker room. Five minutes later, after it was determined he didn’t suffer a concussion, he checked back in.
“Me and Al are good friends. I know he didn’t mean to do it,” Felton said. “I caught his whole arm across my face. It still hurts. I’ve got a headache. But you have to suck it up and go back out there and play.”
And Felton, sore head and all, made the big shots down the stretch.
His 3-pointer with just over 3 minutes left gave Charlotte an 89-83 lead. He then scored on a twisting, off-balance scoop shot in the lane with just under 2 minutes to go that gave the Bobcats a 94-87 lead.
Felton, forced to play a lot of shooting guard after Derek Anderson left with a sprained right ankle in the first quarter, shot 8-of-19 for the Bobcats, who won despite shooting 42 percent and getting outrebounded by seven.
“You’re always concerned when you get hit in the head,” Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “If anybody can surmount it, it would be Raymond.”
It turned out to be Golden State’s point guard who was hampered by injury late in the game. Baron Davis had 21 points, but suffered cramps and pain in his left calf and hamstring with about 4 minutes left. He had a large ice pack strapped to his leg after the game and was noticeably limping.
“I started getting spasms,” Davis said. “I couldn’t explode or put any pressure on my leg. It was tough to be out there and guard and make plays.”
Harrington added 17 points and Andris Biedrins had 15 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for the Warriors, who continued their road misery after a quick start.
Golden State, 5-18 away from home, fell to 0-12 this season in road games that wrap up a set of back-to-back games. The Warriors won in Philadelphia Friday.
“It could have been fatigue, I don’t know, but the ball stopped moving,” Davis said. “We started complaining about calls,” Davis said. “We have to find a way to be a better road team.”
Charlotte, which lost by 26 points at Golden State last weekend, had the fresher legs in the final period to improve to 2-4 all-time against the Warriors.
The Warriors, who shot 56 percent in the first half, led 48-38 late in the second quarter when Matt Carroll ignited a 9-0 run with his fifth four-point play of the season.
Carroll’s 3-pointer and ensuing free throw after Harrington crashed into him moved him one shy of the NBA single-season record of six four-point plays set by Sacramento’s Mitch Richmond in 1996-97.
Shortly after returning, Felton nailed a 3-pointer and Charlotte built a 75-70 lead on Wallace’s three-point play late in the third quarter.
Wallace, who tied a career high in rebounds, added six assists and three blocks, three days after he scored a career-best 42 points in a win over New York.
“It’s great that my production is helping us win,” Wallace said. “Our main thing now is mentally we’re feeding into the aspect of us potentially as a playoff team.”
The Warriors’ road to the playoffs is much more difficult in the tougher Western Conference. Starting 1-3 on their East Coast road trip isn’t helping.
“I wish things would be better,” Warriors coach Don Nelson said. “I’m going to keep teaching and coaching.”
Bobcats G Brevin Knight was hoping to return from a torn abdominal muscle, but Bickerstaff said he needs to work on his conditioning. … Bobcats C Primoz Brezec (back) suited up, but missed his 10th straight game. … Former Charlotte Hornets coach Paul Silas, who is building a home in the area, attended the game. His son Stephen is a Warriors assistant. … Nelson downplayed talk that the players involved in the trade with the Pacers will be extra motivated when the teams meet Monday in Indiana. “As far as being able to get to a different level just because of a trade, it’s pretty silly,” Nelson said.