Menu

BASKETBALL

Wizards try to conjure up a road win in Charlotte

The Eastern Conference's worst two teams square off for the second time this week Saturday when the Charlotte Bobcats play host to the Washington Wizards.

The Bobcats are coming off an awful performance in Philadelphia on Friday. In fact, Charlotte coach Paul Silas wasn't even around in the end to see his team lose a season-high seventh straight game.

Ejected during a timeout, Silas missed the last 2 1/2 quarters of another bleak loss. The 76ers easily handled the Bobcats, 89-72, leading wire-to-wire and by as many as 30 points.

Silas was ejected as the game got out of hand, tossed after receiving two technical fouls during a timeout in the second quarter while his team trailed by 21.

"I just kind of lost it out there," the coach said. "I said something I shouldn't have said and then kicked the ball. Everyone loses it every now and then, and I did."

The Bobcats, who are now an NBA-worst 3-17, continue to deal not only with the frustration of losing, but also with injuries to some key contributors.

Gerald Henderson was able to return Friday from a one-game absence because of a bruised lower back, scoring seven, but D.J. Augustin missed his third straight game with a toe injury and D.J. White sat with a left knee contusion.

Shorthanded, the Bobcats lost their fourth straight game by at least 10 points after staying within single digits in their previous three losses. They also had a six-game losing streak earlier in the season,

Rookie Kemba Walker paced Charlotte with 14 points and eight rebounds while Matt Carroll and Derrick Brown both had 11 off the bench.

"This season's not going like we expected," said Henderson, "and the only way that it can go is up. So that's the kind of attitude that we got to have."

The Bobcats haven't lost eight in a row since Feb. 24-March 10, 2007.

Augustin, who is averaging 13.6 points and a team-high 6.6 assists, isn't expected back in the lineup until next Tuesday at the earliest.

Washington has been just one-half game better than the Bobcats at this point (3-16) and suffered its latest blowout in Houston last night, 103-76.

John Wall had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists in that one for the Wizards, who turned the ball over 24 times and remained the only winless team on the road (0-8) this season. Nick Young finished with 15 points.

"They turned up their pressure, we were trying to throw cross-court passes, and you can't even get away with that in high school," Washington interim head coach Randy Wittman said. "We want to be up-tempo, we're athletic, and we want to run, but you have to take care of the ball. Houston had something to do with that."

The Wizards topped Charlotte in D.C. on Wednesday, 92-75, in Wittman's first game as interim coach after replacing the fired Flip Saunders. The Bobcats, however, have won five of the past six at home in the series.