CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Stephen Jackson scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half and Charlotte rallied to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 100-92 on Wednesday night to give Michael Jordan a victory in his first game as Bobcats majority owner.
Hours after the NBA's Board of Governors approved Jordan's $275 million purchase, he watched his team stage a dramatic recovery from a horrible start. The comeback from a 19-point, second-quarter deficit matched the largest in franchise history.
Stephen Graham matched a career high with 19 points filling in for the injured Gerald Wallace, and the Bobcats won for the seventh time in eight games.
Kevin Durant had 26 points and 10 rebounds, but was 9 of 26 from the field for the Thunder, whose five-game winning streak was snapped.
Jeff Green had 17 points, and Russell Westbrook added 15 points and 10 assists, but the Thunder became undone after dominating much of the first two quarters to lose for only the fourth time in 21 games.
While the loss prevented the Thunder from clinching a winning record and putting heat on Utah for the fourth seed in the West, the victory helped the Bobcats maintain sixth place in the Eastern Conference.
Jackson's 3-pointer with 4:48 left put Charlotte ahead 89-85 and the Thunder never threatened again as the Bobcats got contributions from many.
Raymond Felton had 17 points and seven assists, Boris Diaw added 13 points, and rookie Derrick Brown scored 11 points to make a smiling Jordan 1-0 since becoming the first former player to be a majority owner.
The new ownership regime meant few immediate changes, although Bobcats coach Larry Brown joked before the game that at least he was "still working" after Tuesday's loss to struggling Indiana. He added that Jordan "picked a tough night to be his first night as owner" with the Bobcats facing the surging Thunder.
Jordan made his way to his courtside seat next to the Bobcats bench 2 minutes into the game, and about the first thing he saw was Brown calling a timeout with the Thunder leading 8-2.
Showing more energy and better offensive cohesion, the Thunder built a 51-32 lead, highlighted by Serge Ibaka's leaping, one-handed putback jam over Tyrus Thomas.
But Thomas fueled Charlotte's 11-0 run in less than 2 minutes to close the half with a steal of Westbrook and a dunk. Raymond Felton's 3-pointer in the final second cut the deficit to 51-43 at halftime.
Jackson, 0-for-5 from the field in the first half, got hot in the third quarter and Graham's dunk and floater completed the 41-16 run to give Charlotte a 73-67 lead.
Wallace (ankle) went through a workout before the workout, but wasn't cleared to return, giving Graham another start. He scored 19 points for the second straight night on 7 of 9 shooting.
Durant was 0 for 7 from 3-point range as Charlotte improved to 25-8 at home.
NOTES: Bobcats C Nazr Mohammed missed his 13th straight game with a lingering back issue and Brown had little information on when he could return. G Larry Hughes (finger) is still not cleared. ... Thunder G Mustafa Shakur, signed to a 10-day contract Tuesday, was inactive. ... Thunder coach Scott Brooks said G James Harden (hamstring) is still at least a week away from returning. ... Thunder G Eric Maynor, of Fayetteville, N.C., had a loyal cheering section. ... Brooks was high on Jordan as an owner. "He has a lot of pride," he said. "He's going to want to have success."