Trail Blazers 108, Bobcats 100, OT
After hitting one of two free throws with 2.1 seconds left to send the Blazers to their second straight overtime game and their fifth in nine games, Randolph scored the first four points of OT to give Portland the lead for good as it snapped a three-game losing streak.
“He better have missed the All-Star game by a half-vote,” Jack said. “He’s dominant at times against two or three people a night. I’m not taking anything away from Carmelo Anthony and Josh Howard, they’ve both had great seasons, but it better have been like the George Bush vote.”
Jack hit a 3-pointer and made nine of 12 free throws in overtime, including two with 10 seconds left that iced it for the Blazers, who won despite shooting 40 percent with 18 turnovers.
Randolph carried Portland, scoring 30 or more points for the second straight game and the 13th time this season as Charlotte tried four different defenders on him. He made 13 of 27 shots, 13 of 15 free throws and grabbed nine rebounds and missed his career high by two points.
“I feel like I’m up there with the best players in the league,” Randolph said of his All-Star snub. “I guess I just get no respect doing the same thing other guys are doing. They’re on winning teams and I understand that. But we’re going to continue to get better and I’ll get the respect I deserve.”
Brandon Roy had 15 points for Portland and won the battle with Adam Morrison in the first matchup of the league’s top scoring rookies. Though Roy shot just 5-of-13, Morrison had only seven points on 3-of-12 shooting for Charlotte.
Gerald Wallace had 30 points and 15 rebounds for the Bobcats, and Emeka Okafor added 23 points and 10 rebounds, but fouled out early in overtime trying to guard Randolph, as Charlotte lost its third straight.
“We didn’t pay attention to the game plan in the things we wanted to do against Zach Randolph,” Wallace said. “He went out tonight and did what he wanted to do when he wanted to do it.”
Despite Randolph’s dominance, the Bobcats led by 10 points in the third quarter and by six early in the fourth before Portland rallied.
Roy’s 3-pointer with 8.4 seconds left tied it. Okafor and Randolph then each hit one of two free throws on the next two possessions.
“It’s real simple, we blew it on the Brandon Roy shot,” Bobcats coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “We switched under instead of jumping into his passing lane.”
Portland quickly built a seven-point lead in overtime and was able to pull out a close game after losing two overtime games and a two-point decision in their last three. The win was also its 21st of the season, matching last year’s season total.
“It means a lot,” Randolph said. “We should have some more wins. It shows we’re getting better.”
Portland looked to be in trouble until rallying midway through the fourth quarter. Brevin Knight, playing in his first game in almost six weeks following abdominal surgery, threw a bad pass that Jack turned into two free throws at the other end to tie the game at 81 with 3:48 left in regulation.
Okafor scored 16 first-half points and Charlotte went on a 12-0 run late in the second quarter to take a 42-37 lead.
Okafor’s half-hook and Raymond Felton’s driving layup to close the half put the Bobcats ahead 48-42, despite Randolph’s 12 points.
Wallace had two three-point plays in a 9-0 run to give Charlotte a 66-56 lead midway through the third quarter. But Randolph hit a 3-pointer in a matching 9-0 run as the Blazers got within one.
Bobcats minority owner Michael Jordan was spotted in a back corridor before the game before retreating to his suite. He hasn’t spoken to the local media since the draft last June, and the team never shows him on the video screen during games. … Bobcats F Sean May sat out again with a sore knee, but is expected to play Saturday in Houston. Bobcats G Derek Anderson (ankle) also did not play. … Blazers coach Nate McMillan, who played at North Carolina State, paid for kids on a Pop Warner football team he sponsors in Raleigh to come to the game and spend the night in Charlotte.