Published March 06, 2010
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — D.J. Augustin scored 19 points off the bench, Gerald Wallace added 18 before getting ejected, and the Charlotte Bobcats pulled away late to beat the Golden State Warriors 101-90 on Saturday night and spoil Stephen Curry's return home.
With much fanfare, the Charlotte native and former Davidson star played his first game as a pro here in front of sellout crowd that gave him a standing ovation and cheered most of his made baskets. Curry scored 25 points, but shot just 8 of 23 and the depleted Warriors faded in the fourth quarter in their fourth straight loss.
Wallace scored all of his points in the second half and added 10 rebounds, but was tossed after elbowing Anthony Tolliver in the face in a tussle with 59 seconds left.
It was an odd ending to an electric evening as one of the city's favored sons returned home.
Curry, the son of former Charlotte Hornets fan favorite Dell Curry, grew up attending NBA shootarounds and practices, starred in high school here, then did the unthinkable in leading tiny Davidson to within a missed 3-pointer of the 2008 Final Four.
"Pretty much everything I've done in my life has been within a 30-mile radius of Charlotte," Curry said.
Curry arrived wearing a suit and hugged several Bobcats and arena employees as camera crews tagged along. His pregame availability was moved to the interview room to fit the crush of reporters, and he said he bought 105 tickets.
That didn't include Dell Curry, who works as a television analyst for the Bobcats, leading to an odd exchange in his pregame interview with Charlotte coach Larry Brown.
"I've got to ask about a guy I know pretty well in that locker room — Curry — having a pretty good year," he said.
Brown then interrupted him.
"Are you saying that? He's having a great year," he said.
With his college coach sitting courtside, nerves appeared to show early. Curry missed his first three shots, one an airball floater in the lane. But the crowd cheered loudly when he made a mid-range jumper midway through the first quarter.
The Bobcats, coming off a win over the Los Angeles Lakers a night earlier, struggled to put the game away despite the Warriors being down to eight players after Ronny Turiaf left early after aggravating his left knee injury.
Curry drilled a corner 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to get the Warriors within 84-83 midway through the fourth quarter.
But the Bobcats finally started going to the basket, with Augustin leading the way. He had a driving layup and later buried a 3-pointer to put Charlotte ahead 99-87 with 2:47 left.
It stayed that way until Boris Diaw's putback gave Charlotte a 14-point lead with a minute left. After the ball went through the basket, an agitated Wallace brought his elbow up high toward Tolliver.
The officials huddled, checked the video replay, and ejected Wallace.
Diaw added 14 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists to nearly record the Bobcats' first triple-double.
Corey Maggette added 19 points in his second game back from injury for the Warriors, who fell to 4-27 on the road.
NOTES: Curry had hoped to attend Davidson's Southern Conference tournament quarterfinal game Saturday afternoon across town, but the Wildcats lost a day earlier — further showing Curry's impact on the program. ... Lost in the Curry hoopla is that his backcourt mate, Anthony Morrow, also grew up in Charlotte. Nelson joked with him that he wasn't going to play him and Morrow had a quick reply. "You said you weren't going to play me here last year — and you didn't," he said. ... Bobcats owner-to-be Michael Jordan sat courtside for the third straight game.